Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Simon Pegg – Neil
Kate Beckinsale – Catherine
Rob Riggle – Grant
Joanna Lumley – Fenella
Eddie Izzard – Headmaster
Sanjeev Bhaskar – Ray
..this is literally what I was thinking as I sat staring at the screen during Absolutely Anything. From beginning to end this “movie” was just shocking; the script, the cast, how it was directed – I don’t know who came up with the idea of a British Bruce Almighty, but it failed miserably. It failed literally to the point of me hating every second.
One of the opening scenes sees Neil collide with a van and fall off his bike on his way to work, at the same time being zapped from outer space by aliens.
The camera flashes upon the old man driving the van, and back to Neil.
He lifts his hand and yells “SCREW YOU!” – the old man at the wheel is suddenly seen with a face of surprise as he tries to steer the van properly. Neil has acquired his powers and literally – screwed the old man. The driver’s face turns red as his lips scrunch into a small hole in his face and he howls in pleasure..
My mouth dropped open.
I sat staring at the screen in disguted amazement. It was one of those moments I couldn’t describe, but felt nothing but disgust. This moment was like one of those Carry On film moments where the main character announces, “ooooh” in that classic saucy style. Except this was just plain weird. Disgusting. Unenjoyable. Unnecessary. And unfortunately it was only going to get worse.
I could only imagine what was coming next..
Absolutely Anything was a sorely missed opportunity. What could have been a good little film turned into a very tedious, unfunny display of idiotic antics – brought to the screen by none other than Simon Pegg. England’s example of a try-hard actor who is either shockingly bad or surprisingly good during a movie. He’s one of those actors whose enthusiasm for comedy almost ruins his abilty to perform it; an actor who doesn’t do stand-up like many other performers but tries to get all the comedy out in one go whilst filming. Resulting in an almost immature shambles. I’m not a fan of the man, my opinion is coming purely from a viewer of many features where he had been part of the cast. Even if I was bias, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say to back him up, he’s that ineffective.
I’m not being purposely harsh, I’m just being honest.
A story where an everyday man gets zapped with the ability to be able to do absolutely anything should be fascinating, funny. Imagine the stuff he could get up to whilst being pursued by particular characters, etc. It could be fantastic. Farcical.
Unfortunately, Absolutely Anything slid straight into the category of ‘tacky time-filler’, where minimum effort spent on production and direction meant the collapse of the movie’s structure. Like a standard BBC sitcom, this movie shifts slowly from one scene to the other and lacked such substance that I wondered how it made it on to a cinema screen and wasn’t just aired directly on television.
The lead love interest (Beckinsale) seems to get shunned for a good percentage of the feature. Although Neil uses his powers to get closer to her, he spends literally 70% of the movie pissing about with his newfound talents; giving himself a penis so big it pulls him to the floor, resurrecting the dead, giving his dog Dennis the ability to speak, etc. It’s Bruce Almighty on steroids as Pegg brings an air of sheer pity to the screen. I honesty pitied the actor.
And I mean steroids when they have bad results – like when a person uses too many of them and actually end up looking worse than they did before. Sums this movie up.
Have you ever been laying on the sofa flicking through TV channels late at night, landing on the only thing you think might be worth watching? It’s gone midnight, you’re tired, you need something stupid you don’t need to actually focus on as you start drifting off to sleep?
A low-budget film where you think to yourself during a particular scene, “that’s going to happen” – and it does, because the film is that predictable..?
Welcome to Absolutely Anything.
Where absolutely everything is shit.
The story, the acting, the lack of enthusiasm from the cast themselves, this movie contains all the ingredients of a box office failure.
Towards the end of the movie Neil gets kidnapped and held hostage by Catherine’s stalker Grant. And any chance of a tense atmosphere was extinguished immediately by what was unfolding on screen, as kidnap became kindergarten.
Grant discovers Neil’s powers and ties him up, subsequently announcing a list of demands he wants carried out. One of his demands is that “all pasty-white englishmen have big ears and webbed feet”.
My mouth dropped open slightly again.
Who – what – but wha –
Who would even THINK that, let alone REQUEST it?!
The scene shifts to Catherine running down a street as she tries to locate Neil to save him. She passes many english men – all with big ears and webbed feet – who all seem to be walking calmly down the street.
That’s right – no panic whatsoever, the random male members of the public appear to be going about their everyday business either unaware of their newly acquired deformities, or having noticed – noticed all other men have the same condition – having counselling – wondering why – getting used to it – and continuing with life anyway.
Call me a picky bastard, but I actually watch movies. I take in the detail, absorb things. And this particular element genuinely irritated me. It was the stuff of children’s television – yet placed in a (I assume) movie aimed at adults.
I hate things like that; where elements of the story, set or costume are perfect for kids and you’d think would entertain little ones – yet make up the foundation of a feature which includes adult entertainment such as penis jokes, sexual slurs, etc. Absolutely Anything is like an inappropriate children’s pantomime that was banned a few minutes after going live; it includes the classic lovelorn male and uninterested female, the stupid best friend, the archenemy.. and yet it’s a contradiction of entertainment. It’s tedious.
The only good thing about this movie was the cute dog they used.
So is Absolutely Anything worth a watch?
Immature and quite frankly insulting to adult viewers’ intelligence, this movie took up valuable space in the cinema and wasted it. I felt embarrassed for the cast, being involved in something that made a mockery of their talents. Kate Beckinsale for one; a popular Hollywood name who just shouldn’t have been there. Joanna Lumley – a fantastic actress and personality who I felt nothing but sorry for, Eddie Izzard – the poor bugger. I sympathised.
On the plus side, Absolutely Anything contained an interesting concept. A human gaining the power to do anything in the world after being ‘zapped’ by a bizarre space craft up in the heavens. I can only give praise to this element because everything else in the movie was pissed on wonderfully by lack of substance, and direction.
What a god-awful attempt at a movie. I’ve had more fun putting my underwear on.