Aliens bestow a schoolteacher with the power to do absolutely anything, but only his talking dog seems to have any notion what to do with it.
Director: Terry Jones
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Eddie Izzard, Robert Bathurst, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Simon Pegg, Rob Riggle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Robin Williams, Joanna Lumley, Meera Syal, Emma Pierson, Marianne Oldham
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/80076167
Last year, shortly after Marvel’s “Ant-Man” took cinemas by storm, “Absolutely Anything” and “Fantastic Four” arrived on the silverscreen too. I wanted to see both but time and finances prevailed, as they so often do, and I opted for “Fantastic Four”. So now I get to see “Absolutely Anything” just 9 months after it’s cinematic release.
Neil (Pegg), a teacher and budding author, is a lonely man but he has a secret crush on his downstairs neighbour, Cath (Beckinsdale). To be fair to him, he’s a bit of a loser – always in trouble with the headteacher (Izzard) and the bane of his upstairs neighbours life due to his incessantly barking pet dog.
Now, back in the 70’s when humans started sending rockets to space they included a plaque with basic information to try and ‘reach out’ to aliens. Thankfully for humankind the Council of Superior Beings (voiced by the surviving members of Monty Python) stumbled upon this plaque and decided to see if the human race was worthy. Their test for worthiness is to bestow a superpower onto a single individual and see if they use it for good or not – the super power gives the recipient the power to do absolutely anything.
Once Neil discovers that he’s been granted with this power he soon starts putting it to good use – but will the Council of Superior Beings agree with how he uses it? Speaking of the aliens, at times they feel rather forced into the story. It’s difficult to explain why – I mean it’s not exactly the most serious of stories – but I can’t help feeling that they were added as a bit of a cop-out for the story. A ‘magical bean’ so to speak.
As the story progresses we see Neil and Cath’s friendship blossom but will her obsessive American ex see that she’s moved on and can Neil seduce her without using his powers? There are a handful of laugh-out-loud moments, my favourite being when Neil realised he has to be very specific with what he asks for while stood naked in front of the mirror…
However, overall I feel the film is lacking something – even with the late Robin Williams voicing Neil’s dog and the wonderful talent of Mr Pegg. “Absolutely Anything” has a hugely talented cast, but it’s just an OK film at best – with hindsight, I’m glad I opted for “Fantastic Four” in the cinema.
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