What if you could do Absolutely Anything?

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

Ever imagined just what you might do, if given the ability to shape reality as you see fit - to truly do absolutely anything? Thatís what Absolutely Anything tries to showcase - albeit in a very British way - the latest creation from the iconic Monty Python ensemble.

Neil (Simon Pegg) is a local school teacher and aspiring writer - scratch that, failing writer - who is going nowhere fast in life. Downstairs at his apartment complex lives Catherine (Kate Beckinsale) an unrequited love for Neil who herself is also a disenchanted tv producer - of a show centered around chatting with and showcasing authors - presented by fellow british alumni Joanna Lumley, who plays the ruthless Fenella.

Catherine also has quite the obsessive ex-boyfriend, an american general cast perfectly by Rob Riggle. At work Neil leads a class of rowdy teenagers, who are about as interested in learning as Neil is about teaching them. Not helping matters is Neilís boss and headmaster - played by stand up comedy legend Eddie Izzard - who hounds him at every turn. Neilís only solace at work is friend and fellow teacher Ray (Sanjeev Bhaskar) who like Neil has his own eye on love - namely a teacher named Miss Pringle (Emma Pierson) - unfortunately for Ray she despises him.

Ultimately for Neil and the rest of the human race all these qualms are small potatoes compared to the much larger game afoot - things are about to get a whole lot more complicated for Neil. In the far reaches of space, four peculiar looking aliens are convening, each brilliantly voiced by writer and director Terry Jones and his Monty Python colleagues. The reason for their meeting is the destruction of our species, but in order to follow through with it, a test is required.

Said test involves picking a human at random and bestowing upon them godlike powers - the ability to do absolutely anything - after a quick search Neil is chosen to be that lucky - or unlucky - human. In case you havenít noticed by now, the whole thing is just a far-fetched and silly excuse to explain away a man gaining the ability to accomplish the various miraculous feats that fill the rest of Absolutely Anything; though the CGI on the aliens is done particularly well.

Once Neil is granted his godlike powers is when Absolutely Anything actually works, it's in these small moments - where Neil begins to stretch his prowess - from raising the dead or giving his dog Dennis the ability to speak - voiced by the late Robin Williams, in a role I'm still not quite sure is a perfectly fitting end for his laugh-filled career or an absolute tragedy - but these small comedic skits where Absolutely Anything has a little fun, are the best moments of the movie.

All of the dressing, his various problems and the overall plot are fairly pedantic, there just to serve as problems for his powers to eventually resolve. Which leads to the biggest problem the film suffers from, thereís no meat. The film delivers an interesting premise, but itís just that; there isnít enough plot here to carry its already short hour and half runtime, creating a feeling throughout of clutching at straws, trying to prolong pointless and entirely boring scenes for pure length purposes.

If you are a fan of British comedy then you may find a little love within Absolutely Anything, which has that British black-comedy feel to its core. The plot is extremely shallow and the already short film overstays its welcome, but the few funny skits scattered throughout might be worth your time.

Absolutely Anything is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    24th August 2015

  • 2 Out of 5 Stars
  • Lacking plot

    Feel it dragging

  • CGI aliens

    Comedic skits

Film Info

Absolutely Anything Absolutely Anything
Rating: 12A
Release Date: 14th August
Runtime: 1 hr 25 mins
Director: Terry Jones
Starring: Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Rob Riggle, Eddie Izzard, Terry Gilliam & John Cleese

  • The Invention Of Lying
  • Ghost Town
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles

Yes, though there is some vulgar language scattered throughout that may be unsuitable for small children.

The film is based upon the classic H.G. Wells short story 'The Man Who Could Work Miracles' which was itself turned into a film in 1936.

The credit sequences show the original storyboard ideas for each scene.