Absolutely Anything (2015)
Neil Clarke, a teacher, suddenly discovers that he has magical powers. In fact, he can make anything happen with a flick of his hand. From vaporizing an annoying class (and bringing them back to life) to changing his best friend into a type of man every woman adores. The only problem is finding the right words and finding out what he really wants.
Genre : Comedy
Country : USA/UK
Simon Pegg : Neil
Kate Beckinsale : Catherine
Robin Williams : Dennis the dog
Director : Terry Jones
Give me a really big dick!
[Falls over] Ouch! Not “THAT” big! Obviously! Return to your old size!
Let me have a dick that women find exciting!
Yeah, that’s better. Could I have it white?
What to expect from a comedy with lots of famous comedians ? They managed to persuade the full Monty Python crew to do the voices of aliens that form a kind of intergalactic council. The fact that Terry Jones sat in the producer’s seat also helped, I guess. Simon Pegg plays the leading role as Neil. And you can hear the late Robin Williams in one of his latest achievements as the hyperkinetic dog Dennis. Joanna Lumley and Rob Riggle were assigned respectively the most restrictive and the most annoying part. And finally Kate “Stonehearst Asylum” Beckinsale plays the part of the beautiful neighbor who’s adored by Neil. What the hell can go wrong with such cast?
In many ways this film can be compared with “Bruce Almighty“. Although the latter was superior in all areas. Even though I’ve seen “Bruce Almighty” so many times, I can’t resist watching it again everytime I come across it while surfing the television channels. I’m afraid I’d skip “Absolutely anything” when I do. Just like Bruce, Neil got God-like powers at some point. So whatever he wishes, he can make possible just with a simple hand movement. However, this time it’s not God who took care of that, but some belligerent space creatures from another galaxy. They plucked the Voyager, with an instruction tablet on it how to reach us, out of space. Initially earth would be destroyed. Eventually, this destruction is deferred and the humans are given the chance to prove that they are a superior race. And yes, our good friend Neil is the chosen one.
“Absolutely anything” is the complete opposite of “The World’s end” (another movie featuring Simon Pegg) in terms of development. “The World’s End” first 15 minutes weren’t particularly inviting. But as the film progressed, it became an amusing, hilarious film full of absurdities. “Absolutely anything” begins terribly funny with various comic and silly situations. But after a while the gimmick with the waving hand of Neil wasn’t that funny anymore and from there on it all went downhill. Eventually it ends up as a trite, irritating and predictable slapstick. Even Robin Williams and the entire crew of Monty Python couldn’t save it. Perhaps the hopping little turd at the beginning was a sign.
This may sound a bit too critical. It isn’t all that bad. The extraterrestrial board has its funny moment (but don’t expect Monty Python situations). The antics Neil has to undergo whenever he wishes something again, made me laugh regularly. The personal transformation, the classroom scene, the headmaster and the devotion to his colleague Ray, just to name a few. Strange though that Neil, as an English teacher, knows his grammar well when standing in front of the class, but when he’s using his powers, the wisdom of the correct formulations is lost. Dennis the dog looks cute and cuddly and the improvisations of Robin Williams make it a personality. Hilarious sometimes. But it feels as if Williams worked within the lines of the script. Had they given him more improvisation space, it might have been funnier. And fortunately, the romantic theme wasn’t developed extensively. All in all a relaxing and sometimes funny film. There are some lame jokes and an annoying American, but British humor and some absurd twists here and there, ease the pain. The most sad part of this film is the fact that it’s the last film with Robin Williams starring in it.