By Christian DiMartino
The Monty Python gang (with the exception of the late Graham Chapman) is back at it yet again in Absolutely Anything, and this time they have brought funny men Simon Pegg, Rob Riggle, and the late Robin Williams (as the voice of a dog) into the mix. All of the elements are there… but yet it doesn’t really amount to much.
The film revolves around a group of aliens (voiced by John Cleese,Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin, aka, The Monty Python gang) who, as an experiment, give some random person the power to do “absolutely anything” they please (note: the generator first offers Sarah Palin).
The power is bestowed upon Neil (Pegg), a quiet British man who has a crush on the babe living in his apartment, played by Kate Beckinsale. Once he realizes he has this power, he basically does what he can with it, in a Bruce Almighty kind of way (examples: Making his dog speak, played by Williams, making dog poop clean itself up,etc.). Throw in a random plotline involving Beckinsale’s psychotic ex (Riggle), and what we get is… kind of a mess actually.
The film has its fun, and at barely 80 minutes, it does pass up the time. But yet all talent considered, this should be better. I laughed about as much as I did in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life… which much to my surprise, wasn’t much.
The scenes with the aliens don’t work. Not only are they not funny, but they’re also just a waste of voice talent. The scenes with Riggle also just don’t really work, and neither do the scenes with Williams, much to my great disappointment.
Pegg always manages to pull it together. He gives a charisma-loaded performance that nearly keeps the project above water.
I cannot call Absolutely Anything a failure. However, it isn’t very successful either. Glad to see (or, well, hear) the gang back at it again, but I wish they would have waited longer.