Has the Downfall of Mike Myers Truly Begun?
If you went down to your local movie theater today and asked any average moviegoer who they thought was funnier, either Adam Sandler or Mike Myers, the answer you would hear most often might shock you. Sandler's summer flick, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, was a flop itself with a box office revenue of only $80 million so far. That should've give away the answer already: Mike Myers. But the earnings have start to trickle in for Myer's The Love Guru and it doesn't sound good (or maybe it does). Guru only made a pitiful $5.4 million on Friday and is expected to hit $15 million by the end of the weekend, nearly 50% less than Zohan's opening weekend. However, I'm not here to talk about actual earnings and the revenue potential of Myers, I'm here to talk about the decline of a comedian who once was funny.
Back in February I posed a similar question after Semi-Pro failed at the box office: Is Will Ferrell Burning Out? In retrospect, I realized that was more of a talking point than an actual theory, primarily because Semi-Pro was a problem itself. Ferrell's Step Brothers is going to hit big this summer, that's pretty much guaranteed. It may not blow the roof off of the box office like Superbad, but it will at least be a much stronger performer than both Zohan and Guru. And that answers Ferrell's question - he'll be good as long as he's in the right movies. Myers, on the other hand, isn't working like this. The Love Guru is his first on-screen performance since 2003 and it's downright atrocious. And now that it flopped financially, it's time to ask: is this the start of his downfall?
There was a time, back in the early 90s, where Mike Myers was a comedian with true talent. Wayne's World and So I Married an Axe Murderer both became instant classics and set a precedent for Myers. In 1997, he debuted his greatest character - Austin Powers. Then again in 1999, he followed it up with a great sequel, titled The Spy Who Shagged Me. But when the world celebrated a new millennium, it seemed like Myers started to lose his edge. He did a great job voicing Shrek in 2001, but 2002's Goldmember had lost that magical disco spirit that made the first two Austin Powers movies so great. And in 2003 he hit a new low - The Cat in the Hat. Now five years later he "returns" and it's even worse than before. With a solid six years of evidence, I can certainly say it seems like Myers is already picking up speed in his downfall.
I've already shared my utter distaste for The Love Guru in a previous article and thankfully it seems the world has come to agree with me as well. The film has a measly 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the only positive reviews coming from a few no-name critics, and barely made enough money to even make a dent in its rumored $62 million budget. I guess this goes to prove that great marketing means nothing if the movie looks like complete shit. I have no remorse for Myers and The Love Guru and can smile when I say that I'm happy to see him fade away. His comedy has become so over-used and washed up, that I'd rather pay money to watch So I Married an Axe Murderer again than see The Love Guru for free.
So to tie this all together with the opening question, I'm amazed to hear that people actually prefer Myers over Sandler when he's already six years into his downfall. What's so great about his comedy that makes him loved by so many people? Or is it simply his adherence to such iconic characters like Austin Powers and Wayne Campbell that they've come to appreciate him for what he once was and not what he currently is - a comic on his way out the door. I really hate to speak so negatively about a comedian that I at one time did love myself, at least back when I was younger and when Austin Powers was funnier. Whereas I might have been wrong about Will Ferrell, I don't have any doubts about Myers this time. So let's ask the audience again… Has the downfall of Mike Myers truly begun?