Simon Pegg isn’t a huge star, but having been a part of franchises like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, as well as leading films like Paul and the Cornetto trilogy, I feel like he can lead a film, and be somewhat of a draw. With that in mind, I was quite surprised to find out that Absolutely Anything didn’t have an American release date. This was even more surprising when you consider the fact that this is one of the last films Robin Williams will be a part of (although he only provided a voice). The film actually now does have a release date in America, in about two weeks time, but even so, this last-minute rushing it out, and initial hesitation to set a date at all made me suspicious, so I went in thinking only one thing: what’s wrong with this film?
Only really one thing, but it’s actually quite a big thing. The main plot of Absolutely Anything follows Neil (played by Simon Pegg), who is given the power to do absolutely anything (oooooh I get it now) by an intergalactic committee of aliens (inexplicably voiced by the cast of Monty Python) who will destroy Earth if he doesn’t use the power for good. The big problem is that this film doesn’t really know what it wants to be. On the one hand, you have a premise that lends itself to a lot of funny scenarios, and some big visual sequences. On the other hand, this film didn’t have a lot of money put into it and has quite low production values.
Because of these two conflicting angles, this film ends up being a poor representation of both, rather than a happy point in between. This film doesn’t really feel like it was worthy of a cinematic release. As I’ve already said, the production values aren’t great, the scope of the story is very small, despite the end of the world scenario, and even with a cast with some recognisable names and faces, everything about it just feels like it should be on TV. On the other hand, because of the setup, it’s clear that not a lot of effort was put into the script, with only a few small laughs, some unforgivable plot holes, and a few moments of ‘why is this happening?’.
Absolutely Anything is by no means terrible, it just doesn’t work in the way the filmmakers or the audience want it to. It feels more a shame that this cast and premise were wasted than anything, as this would’ve been very funny.
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