Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley, Sanjeev Bhaskar, five of the Pythons and Robin Williams. With a cast like that you are expecting that whatever the film is, it’s going to be a belter. Especially when Terry Jones is the director and has been working on the script for twenty years with his writing partner, Gavin Scott. Even when Absolutely Anything was getting trashed by every single critic and every single person I met I still held out hope. Was I right? Well no but wait, I wasn’t wrong either. Absolutely Anything is absolutely mediocre.
Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg) is also mediocre in about every single way but he’s nice enough. Catherine (Kate Beckinsale) lives downstairs and is sick of her workmates not taking her seriously and all of the men in her life. Sounds like your run of the mill romantic comedy until you meet the aliens. These aliens are some what drunk on power and take pleasure in judging and destroying or sparing a planet depending on the actions of one randomly chosen citizen. Therefore Neil has omnipotence thrust upon him for ten days with no explanation and he must prove that all Earthlings are redeemable. I know what you are thinking, “it sounds like Bruce Almighty“. Yeah, it pretty much is the British version of Bruce Almighty and unfortunately it is about as entertaining as that film was as well.
There is nothing wrong with the acting, everyone does a fine job and nothing less than you would expect from their regular work. Unfortunately they don’t do anything above your expectations either, with the exception of Eddie Izzard who plays the school’s headmaster. For the few minutes he is on screen, Eddie Izzard’s performance is about the only highlight. As for the rest of the cast, well if I’m honest I was probably expecting a little more. Especially since this is the first film since The Meaning Of Life that has included all of the living members of Monty Python. That is pretty exciting and I’m quite surprised that the marketing team didn’t try to use that more to their advantage. When you see the film however, you will understand why. The aliens that the Pythons voiced were nothing special, I never laughed once in any of their scenes and if anything they were a bit annoying. As for Robin Williams, I don’t want to speak ill of the dead but I also don’t want to lie. Robin Williams was generally an amazing voice over artist and Genie from Aladdin will go down as one of the best vocal performances ever but here it felt like he was just phoning it in.
Production falls on the side of meh as well. Apart from the opening scene, there is nothing special about this movie. The direction passes you by just as quickly as the editing does. Some of the CGI was even a bit distracting, taking you out of the scenes at times. Really, the only credit goes to the person that edited the trailer. That trailer made this film look a lot better than it was but again this isn’t necessarily a great thing. Whenever a film’s trailer utilises all of the best jokes you are bound to feel cheated and yep, I felt cheated. In the entire film, there was only one joke exclusive from the trailer that I found funny.
When it comes to the plot, it fits the Neil Clarke mold. It’s mediocre in about every single way but it’s nice enough. After watching the trailer, I’m sure you could guess the entire plot and in fact I did. There are no surprises and quite a few slips in logic. A main character that can do anything pretty much negates the point of a plot right from the start. Unless you have some pretty great writing and reasoning to avoid the “create peace on Earth and let there be no problems” command than your character is going to have to be an idiot to not see that. Which would have been a better idea actually, but Neil isn’t really an idiot. He’s more, as I’ve said mediocre.
I really wanted to like this film and more than that, I thought I was going to like this film when I went into it at the beginning. Absolutely Anything is nothing more than an alright way to spend your time on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In fact Absolutely Anything isn’t absolutely anything. It’s not absolutely awful, nor is it absolutely amazing and if you are going to name your film “Absolutely Anything” then you’d have to be absolutely sure it’s going to be absolutely spectacular before you see critics absolutely go overboard on using the word “absolutely”, absolutely all of the time. Absolutely worth a two and a half out of five.