DVD Release Date: August 14, 2015
The Intergalactic Council of Superior Beings receives a communique from Earth. They, as is their custom, chose a random earthling to give the power to do absolutely anything. If the human uses the power for good, humanity is saved. If he or she uses the power for evil, humanity will be destroyed. Chosen is Neil Clarke, a secondary school teacher who is an aspiring writer. What will Neil do with the ability to do absolutely anything?
[easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] is perfect English humor. Neil (Simon Pegg) is an average bloke trying to make his life work. He’s hated by the headmaster (Eddie Izzard) and holds an unrequited affection for his downstairs neighbor (Kate Beckinsale). The Intergalactic Council gives Neil the ability to make anything happen by announcing his wish and waving his hand. Of course, the power doesn’t take intent into account and makes precisely whatever Neil commands happen. His first inadvertent wish results in the death of 38 students. Watching all events is a Council of Superior Alien Beings (voiced by members of Monty Python) that have been perhaps a little picky with this test in previous encounters. The Intergalactic Council has perhaps not a perfectly conventional view of what constitutes good and what makes something evil.[easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] is wonderfully acted. Simon Pegg is somewhat underrated as an actor because of the roles for which he’s best known (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”). Peggi in [easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] gives a somewhat subdued performance as a man suddenly able to make his greatest wishes come true. Though he lives paycheck to paycheck, his first wishes involve being treated well by the headmaster (played to wonderful effect by the great Eddie Izzard) and for his best friend Ray (played by Sanjeev Bhaskar, a wonderful actor perhaps best known for his role as host and son Sanjeev on “The Kumars at No. 42”) to have the love he desires from the object of his affection. The running joke, of course, is that the wishes never seem to work out as intended. Instead of the doe-eyed Miss Pringle simply adoring Ray, she worships him and starts a cult with him as the central deity. While this may sound like something easily overplayed, there’s enough going on that viewers see the religion developing in the background and when it becomes central to the plot makes sense.
In his last role, Robin Williams gives voice to Neil’s dog, Dennis. Let me say something that will likely be sacrilege to many of you, I am not a huge Robin Williams fan. There are roles in which I adored the actor. “Dead Poet’s Society” is one of my favorite movies. That said, Williams was the perfect choice for the voice of an overexcited and hyper canine. One of the great and unique things [easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] does is give voice to an animal without changing what is likely his base self. When Dennis becomes capable of rational thought, he’s still obsessed with biscuits. Dennis doesn’t pick up a pair of glasses and newspaper, instead expresses his desire to spend some private time with Neil’s leg.
Rob Riggle is wonderful as Colonel Grant. Grant is a U.S. Military Officer with a high-security clearance who had a one-night stand with Catherine and is stalking her. Riggle’s acting in [easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] reminded me frequently of an early Chevy Chase. Riggle’s over-the-top facial expressions and act-first-think-later role in the film was a comedy gold moment of silliness in a film that, though perfect, really could have gone a bit sillier. Giving the movie a thoughtful bent is Joanna Lumley as a book program host (for whom Catherine works) who seems to mirror the alien philosophy on earth. “We’re doing a demolition job,” she says to Catherine of an author she’ll be interviewing when the questions Catherine gives her are too much about the book. There’s a ruthless edge to the Intergalactic Council. One of their demolition contractors challenges them in their mock trial of the Earth. Of course, they’ll destroy the Earth, their record isn’t that great at accepting new Superior Beings.
But do they?
I adored [easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link]. There were a lot of things I would have liked to have known more about. I think the movie could have been longer and maintained its entertainment value. Lumley’s character was especially interesting but we mostly see her through the eyes of others. As a fan of Sanjeev Bhaskar, I would have liked to have seen the role of Ray expanded though he is a central character and intermittently reappears in the story. I would have loved to see more of the upstairs neighbor, Fiona (played by the fabulous Meera Syal best known as the Grandmother on “The Kumar’s at Number 42″). Keep an eye open for some wonderful actors that make cameo appearances.
If you’re looking for a wonderful comedy movie with a strong sense of intelligent humor, pick [easyazon_link identifier=”B013JZW6MW” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Absolutely Anything[/easyazon_link] up today.
Absolutely Anything is available as a DVD and Blu-ray:
|Actors||Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Rob Riggle, Eddie Izzard,
|Length||1 hour and 22 minutes|
|DVD Release||August 14, 2015|