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Absolutely Anything - Film Review

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by Nicholas Gordon (subscribe)
Freelance writer based in Sydney.
Published February 9th 2016
What if you could do anything you wanted?
Eccentric aliens (voiced by the members of Monty Python, no less) have earth in their sights. They will destroy the planet unless a randomly chosen human, endowed with the power to do anything, can convince the aliens that earth is worth saving. The random person chosen is Neil (Simon Pegg) a slightly dopey English teacher and wannabe novelist from north London. He is very ordinary, faced with very ordinary problems - crappy job, no money and no girlfriend. Neil doesn't have much in life except for his dog Dennis and an unrequited crush on his downstairs neighbour Catherine (Kate Beckinsale).

So the aliens zap Neil and he's off on his merry way he reincarnates the dead and becomes president of the United States. He bestows speech upon his dog (voiced by the late Robin Williams), buys every racehorse in the world and makes his colleagues suck up to him. Neil mucks around for a long while, changing this and that, before arriving at the conclusion that his god-like powers seem to cause more problems than solve them.

Loosely based on the story The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H.G. Wells, Absolutely Anything was directed by Monty Python's Terry Jones. Those expecting lots of Monty Python involvement will be disappointed, the aliens are voiced by Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Michael Palin but the sequences are brief and add up to little compared with the rest of the film (Jones makes an additional tiny cameo as a lorry driver). The film largely centres on Neil and Catherine, plus Dennis the dog. Catherine's psychotic American ex-boyfriend, Grant (Rob Riggle), Neil's schoolteacher friend Ray (Sanjee Bhaskar) and Joanna Lumley as Catherine's boss, make up the supporting cast.

Absolutely Anything is entirely silly, and whilst it's not rolling-around-the-floor-wetting-yourself funny, it has its moments. It's got touches of Monty Python comedy extracted from left-field and a mix of gross and highbrow gags. Where it differs from Python is that it's been overly polished, almost turning cutesy at times. But it does hit more than it misses, the quirky humour more than making up for the flat spots.

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Why? For the silliness
When: Available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital from March 23rd
Where: Varies
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
Interesting collection of comedians. It's a wonder it didn't receive lots of publicity as a Robin Williams film.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4069) 1323 days ago
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