What's the sound of other celebrities avoiding Mike Myers' calls? I’m not quite sure (but it may have something to do with this awful film).

It's something like this:

A PHONE RINGS IN THE TIME BEFORE 'The Love Guru':

Mike Myers: 'Hey, it’s Mike Myers. Do you want to be in this totally mad film I’m making about Ice Hockey and an Indian Guru? It’s going to be really funny and cool!'
Val Kilmer/Kanye West/Jessica Alba/Justin Timberlake/Jessica Simpson/Other Celebs: 'OK, great!'
Mike Myers: 'Great!'

A PHONE RINGS IN THE TIME AFTER 'The Love Guru':

A celebrity looks at the phone, sees who's calling, and hands it to their assistant.

Mike Myers: 'Hey, it’s Mike Myers. Do you want to appear in this totally mad film I’m making about (insert own zany topic here)? It’s going to be really funny and cool!'
Assistant: 'Hi Mike! I'm afraid Val/Kanye/Jessica/Justin/Jessica/other celeb is resting/recording/snoozing. I'll pass on your message, and they will get back to you real soon! OK, thanks Mike! Great! Bye!'
Mike Myers: 'Oh no.'

That's a convoluted way of saying: "This is really bad."

So bad you have to ask just how it ever made it out of someone’s head and into a real cinema. The answer to that is, of course, Myers and, more specifically, Myers' reputation. He co-writes, he co-produces, and he co-calls in the celebrity cameo favours. It all adds up to what is probably the worst film of the year so far.

Once effortlessly hilarious, the star of 'Wayne's World' seems to have totally lost his funny mojo; the tragedy is that none of his celebrity chums had the bottle to tell him that it was time switch on the quality control, and get out of the incredibly irritating allegedly comic auto-pilot he has apparently settled into.

What are the problems? Where to start...

Well, there’s Myers' constant use of cheesy grins as a substitute for humour, there are the naff 'smutty' lines, there's the clunking 'innuendo' and there's the rubbish concept. Worst of all is that Myers’ lead character Guru Pitka is a terrible 'comic' creation; not well conceived, not well played and the opposite of hilarious*. And then there's the fact that 95% of the jokes are absolutely toe-curlingly brutal.

That’s it, really: awful jokes, a rubbish main character and Myers' immensely irritating notion that by just saying something, he somehow becomes inescapably comedic. He doesn't.

Aside from that, the story - Guru Myers/Pitka drafted in to fix the slapshot, relationship and mental health issues of star ice hockey player Darren Roanoake (Malco) - is fine. In fact, some of the secondary cast could possibly have done an OK job given reasonable material. Justin Timberlake’s French-Canadian goalkeeper is even... fairly promising. The American sportscasters played by John Oliver and Stephen Colbert are, dare I say it, a bit funny. Verne Troyer's mini Ice Hockey coach is also sort of OK...

Jessica Alba, on the other hand, is not. No more comedy, Jessica. At least not until you've read the script and laughed out loud at least twice, which you couldn't possibly have done before agreeing to appear in this film.

Finally, you have to ask just what it is that's wrong with Ben Kingsley, who plays some uber-guru or other, these days. Somehow, the star of 'Gandhi' and 'Schindler's List' seems to have unearthed an unerring talent for landing himself into the middle of the most worst of the worst; not just bad films but epically awful films like this one (and the dreadful 'The Last Legion').

Anyway, to conclude, this is rubbish - tragically rubbish - to the degree of being about as bad as all the really bad bits of 'Austin Powers 3' times a million.

(Beware; no matter what anyone tells you, this isn’t ‘so bad it’s good’. Like most awful comedy, it’s also extremely boring.)

Brendan Cole

*ie 'embarrassing'