1. Headline
  1. Headline
IMAGE: Fat Bastard from "Austin Powers" series
New Line Cinema
Mike Myers reportedly wants Fat Bastard back and sweatier and fatter than ever, but does anyone but Myers appreciate this disgusting and unfunny character?
By
TODAY contributor
updated 8/15/2011 1:30:48 PM ET 2011-08-15T17:30:48
OPINION

The fourth Austin Powers movie is reportedly in the works, and that's either good or bad news depending on how fond you are of Mike Myers' spy-spoof series.

Story: Groovy! Mike Myers signs on for ‘Austin Powers 4’

But this much is true: franchises get lazy. And in spite of the Powers series past box-office mojo, by “Goldmember” the series was stumbling. Therefore, “Untitled Fourth Austin Powers Movie” would do well to take the following advice to heart.

1. Kill off Fat Bastard
Mike Myers suggested on the DVD audio commentary of “Austin Powers in ‘Goldmember’” that not only would Fat Bastard return for the next movie, but that he would regain the weight he lost in the third installment. The problem with this plan isn’t just that Fat Bastard is a repellent character and a lazy dumping ground for obesity gross-out humor, it’s that Myers’s baffling insistence on speaking in a gurgling, no longer funny Scottish accent is now way too connected to “Shrek.”

2. Go back to the well
“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” was a surprise hit not only because of the groovy 60s visuals and silly jokes, but because it was much more clever than anyone expected it to be. It referenced a movie nerd’s treasure trove of spy films and crazy mod-sploitation nuggets like “Beyond The Valley of The Dolls” and it did so in low-brow, stupid-smart style. The sequels, unfortunately, ditched the smart jokes for fart jokes. The next sequel could easily win back first-wave fans by simply not aiming for the gutter at every possible moment.

Story: '80s movie sequels we'd like to see

3. Don't overdo Mini Me, Scott Evil and Frau Farbissina
Beloved supporting characters with big personalities need to be given space, but not so much that they take over. Case in point: Mini Me threatened to overstay his welcome in “Austin Powers in ‘Goldmember,’” and the character became a prop. But that’s easily fixed with a tighter script. Meanwhile, if Myers can hold back from cluttering the screen with a variety of characters all played by himself, giving the comic talents of Seth Green and Mindy Sterling some room, the end result will feel more balanced, less like a manic Myers assault, and nothing like “The Love Guru.”

Story: Bueller, Bueller? Where would Ferris be today?

4. Make celebrity cameos mean something
Stuff the darn thing with famous faces for all we care, but don’t go for the quick, cheap “get.” Sure, give Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow a few funny lines each, but pass on of-the-moment reality show stars (“Goldmember” included the cast of “The Osbournes”) whose appearances will leave future viewers wondering why they were included at all. In other words, go for Helen Mirren and let “The Three Stooges” movie have Snooki and The Situation. Nobody’s going to be happy with the outcome of that mash-up.

5. Give 'Yeah, baby!' and 'Oh behave!' a rest
Once you’ve exhausted a catchphrase and turned it into a Halloween costume and a ring tone and a greeting card punch line and a talking keychain at Hot Topic, INVENT NEWER AND FUNNIER DIALOGUE. That’s why screenwriters get paid lots and lots of money, bay-bee.

Is Fat Bastard funny or disgusting? What would you like to see in a new "Austin Powers" film? Discuss with us on Facebook.

Dave White is a film critic for Movies.com

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
  1. Nbc News

    9 things we learned from Brian Williams' Facebook chat

    10/2/2014 1:41:28 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:41:28
  1. Noel Vasquez / Getty Images Contributor

    Mila Kunis,  Ashton Kutcher welcome baby girl

    10/2/2014 1:24:09 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:24:09
  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Secret Service director resigns amid scandal

    10/1/2014 7:30:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T19:30:52