Midway through season three of Entourage, agent Ari Gold ( Jeremy Piven) salutes a cameo-ing Seth Green by aping the trademark little-finger action of Green’s on-screen pa, Dr Evil. “That’s funny, man,” says the actor. “That pinky bought me a house in Malibu!”
Austin Powers has no doubt bought its stars many homes since its debut 10 years ago, though we’d be willing to wager the vast majority of those properties belong to Mike Myers. Sandwiched between Wayne and Shrek he may be, but the International Man of Mystery remains the Canuck’s most durable creation: an instantly appealing mix of hirsute hipster, dentally challenged dolt and masculine hedonist, topped off with Michael Caine’s specs and Jason King’s clobber. His lexicon, however, was all his own – though not for long. (The last decade has seen plenty of total strangers regaling Myers with their best “Yeah, baby” impression. “The oddest place it happened was in the men’s room at Maple Leaf Gardens,” he recalls in the extras. “I was urinating...”)
As Ari Gold’s mimicry suggests, there are two sides to Austin’s powers. Given the way his Blofeld-style nemesis eclipsed him in The Spy Who Shagged Me and Goldmember, it’s not surprising the mooted fourth instalment in the franchise will be told from Dr Evil’s perspective. For the most part, however, AP1 manages to keep its two Mikes from cancelling each other out, even finding room in between them for Green, Robert Wagner and Mindy Sterling to shine. (Not Liz Hurley, though: she’s cack.)
This two-discer arrives with exactly the same extras it did seven years ago, appended with just one new featurette notable for being Myers-free. Instead we get Bob, Mindy and Michael York waxing lyrical on his character’s legacy and Neil Mullarkey, Mike’s erstwhile comedy partner, telling us that Austin Powers is “the international language of fun”. That’s as maybe. But why bake a cake if the birthday boy isn’t around to blow out the candles?