‘The Pentaverate’ or — Gross Productivity?
‘The Pentaverate’ (2022) is typical Mike Myers in that it is one of the most god-awful, unfunny, infantile, badly written, derivative, brain-dead, grating, puerile pieces of crap there’s ever been. How do I know? Because I watched all of it… twice! (I needed a second viewing to corroborate if what I’d seen was as appalling as it was. And it was).
But first, some personal history.
Years ago I once dated a very lovely Canadian woman. Whilst visiting her in Toronto we went out for dinner with a group of her friends when, over some poutine, the topic of Mike Myers was raised allowing me to immediately demonstrate my finely honed ability for tact and delicacy.
“Jesus Christ,” I politely interjected, “I can’t STAND that bloody guy! He’s shockingly unfunny: The Austin Powers films are over-praised, sub-standard, nostalgia driven shit constructed from old and stolen jokes; ‘Wayne’s World’ was fine… if you were a fucking adolescent with absolutely no taste in comedy or film whatsoever; ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer’ was never funny to begin with, and might I also add there’s nothing inherently hilarious about shouting the word “Heid!” either. He’s only successful through pure force of will, good luck and sheer bloody mindedness. Seriously, if you like Mike Myers, or even tolerate his “comedy” in any way whatsoever, then you and everyone you know is a fucking idiot!”
My girlfriend motioned for me to discreetly follow her away from the table and to the bar where she quietly explained to me that Mike Myers is from Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, and is a figure so beloved and adored in Canada that there’s a street named after him along with some statues and plaques and that he is regarded as less a national treasure and more a living saint. To insult Myers is to insult Canada itself so maybe I should keep my voice down for the rest of the evening before people started throwing their dinner at me.
“I will not!” I retorted at such outrageous censorship. “Maybe it’s not me but Canada that’s got the problem here!”
Arriving home the following day, and still picking the remains of crusted poutine from out of my clothing, I was greeted by the newspapers carrying reviews of Mike Myers latest movie, ‘The Love Guru’ (2008), reviews so aggressively negative that one Canadian reviewer wrote “This movie is so bad it makes us wonder if Mike Myers was ever funny in the first place!” Finally. Vindication!
I mention all this to demonstrate that I have never been a fan of Myers to begin with and have the scars to show for my preternatural foresight and vision whilst the rest of the world finally caught the fuck up with me. So why did I watch all of ‘The Pentaverate’ if I can’t stand the guy? Well, maybe if the world had grown and matured in the intervening years then maybe Myers had, too? I settled down to find out.
Turns out that not only has Myer’s not evolved or matured in the slightest but, from the evidence of this, has actively regressed and de-volved much like William Hurt’s character in ‘Altered States’ (1980) into some form of primordial, pre-comedic blob. ‘The Pentaverate’ is another litany of old, stolen and lazy jokes delivered by such psychopathological “Look at me!” gurning and grimacing that elicits zero laughter but only pity, horror and, ultimately, acute depression instead. He even steals Julian Clary’s ‘I love a warm hand on my entrance” gag from thirty years ago. This is theft Robert Maxwell would be envious of.
Myers also conflates technical ability with actual comedic ability which is why there’s something deeply soulless and unnerving about watching the guy perform, which is more an exercise in public narcissism than anything else, no matter how skilled at impersonations and accents some people think he might be.
The written material itself is sub-standard and even more infantile than anything else Myers has ever created, which is really saying something. In fact, there isn’t any real comedy material here whatsoever, simply a string of hollow vulgarities illustrative of a mind that doesn’t understand how humour genuinely works: this is gross therefore it is funny, which is so lowest common denominator it gives new, and highly accurate, meaning to the expression “vulgar fraction”.
If film, according to Jean-Luc Godard, is “truth 24 times a second” then ‘The Pentaverate’ (whatever the fuck it actually is) is nothing more than a giant shit being pushed out through your TV set and onto your living room carpet over the course of three hours.
I have still to receive my letter of apology from the people of Canada.