Starring: Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams
Director: Terry Jones
Running Time: 85 mins
Absolutely Anything is a British film about a man who is given the power to do anything after a group of ‘superior’ aliens nominate him as the test subject that will decide whether the Earth is obliterated or not.
This isn’t an awful film. I wasn’t watching it wishing for it to end, nor was I retching at the ridiculous fantasy element of the story. However, it’s definitely not a good film, thanks to one of the most poorly-written scripts I’ve seen in a long time, and then copping out of any real wonderment by just ripping off Bruce Almighty, this isn’t something I’d ever really think about watching again.
Before we get into why this film isn’t so good, however, let’s just touch on the few positives. For one, Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale are pretty fun to watch. Yes, the script is awful, but the two seem to have a pretty good chemistry that watching them on screen wasn’t all that bad. In fact, there are moments when their acting manages to bring about a few laughs, and their chemistry makes the inevitable relationship pretty convincing, so the film gets some good marks there.
What’s more is that this isn’t a hatefully bad film. It’s easy-going and light-hearted enough to get through without much anguish, and seeing as it feels more like a silly little sitcom on BBC Three rather than an actual movie, I didn’t take it as seriously as I might some other fantasy comedies, meaning that I disliked it less.
However, there are still some serious issues with the film, the worst being the script. Particularly in the first act, you hear some of the most forced dialogue to move the story along, like two characters randomly discussing what they would do if they could ‘absolutely anything’, and then one actually being able to (how convenient!).
The problem is that dialogue like that is repeated right the way through the movie, and it just feels so obvious. It doesn’t feel like they were trying to make a fun comedy, but instead a clearly formulaic romp for no reason at all.
There’s no sense of imagination and excitement when the main character gets his magical powers. Bruce Almighty, on the other hand, which is effectively the same movie, managed to do that brilliantly, and mixed the wonderment of being able to do absolutely anything with some good comedy too.
Seriously, I recommend skipping Absolutely Anything, and instead watching Bruce Almighty again: you’ll have a lot more fun. Overall, Absolutely Anything gets a 6.3 from me.