Guru-vy, baby… Five years after his last live-action outing (The Cat In The Hat), Mike Myers returns with a new comic creation, Guru Pitka. Well, new-ish – the ’60s shag-cut and buck teeth may have been replaced by long hair, wiry beard and enough fake tan to turn the Canadian star into an Indian sage. But beneath the disguise there lurks the spirit of Austin Powers, whose love of double entendres and fart gags remains present and politically incorrect. Which is exactly where and why The Love Guru falls down. You could excuse Powers – a fish out of water, a man out of time – for bringing with him a taste for the unsophisticated. But Pitka is a spiritual mentor, a philosopher, a teacher and a guide, which begs the question: would such a man really be so enthralled by testicle-shaped food?
If, like the mentalist Guru himself, you are – and you’d love to see such edibles deep fried, battered and tendered – then you may just enjoy watching “the world’s second-best guru” as he’s sent to Canada to settle a rift between a star hockey player and his estranged wife while imparting a little self-help counsel. You might also revel in the sight of Jessica Alba, as the hockey team’s owner, trying her best not to look awkward as she throws herself headlong into the movie’s broad humour – and Justin Timberlake bringing sexy-front to the big screen in a stacked pair of Speedos.
If you’re a Powers partisan, you’ll probably get a kick out of seeing Myers reunited with Verne Troyer (the erstwhile Mini-Me), playing the team’s angry coach, and chuckle at the many ‘surprise’ cameos and endless pop-culture references. But if your sense of humour has evolved at all since Benny Hill went off the air, these will all be mere distractions. Instead, you’ll be better served renting something by Judd Apatow, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogan, Sacha Baron Cohen or any of the other current kings of comedy who have successfully brought the genre into the naughties. Did we say naughties? Oo-er.
Myers lazily transfers his nudge-nudge, wink-wink comic shtick from a '60s English playboy to a present-day Indian guru. The occasional snigger, but unless you're a dick-joke die-hard there's scant enlightenment.