Absolutely Anything may be a bad film, but it’s an excellent pub quiz answer. What was the last movie to star Robin Williams and also the first to reunite the surviving cast of Monty Python since The Meaning of Life.
Sadly, the associated trivia is about the only thing that can recommend this film, a dismal and tonally bizarre comedy that most of the surviving cast members would probably prefer to leave off their CV.
Simon Pegg stars as Neil, an underachieving high school teacher who is randomly – and unwittingly – selected by a council of aliens to be the test case for whether humanity deserves to be wiped out or spared. To test his essential qualities, he is granted the power to make absolutely anything happen, simply by speaking it into existence.
As comic premises go, this has plenty of potential. Unfortunately, the film never really finds a rewarding way to exploit Neil’s God-like abilities, instead settling on low hanging fruit that ranges from banal to bizarre.
Presumably tempted by the prospect of appearing in a Monty Python movie, the film features a wealth of stars including Kate Beckinsale, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and the late Robin Williams, who provides the voice of Pegg’s newly talkative dog. His trademark wild comic riffing provides the most entertainment to be found in the movie, but that isn’t really saying much.
In this week’s podcast, we break down the plot of Absolutely Anything and cast around for some theories on where it all went so very, very wrong. As always, we also brainstorm some drinking games, check in with our listeners and pitch some far-fetched sequel ideas.
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Next week, we’ll be course correcting with a much better Robin Williams / Monty Python collaboration. Until then, happy listening and remember, a great cast is no guarantee of a quality movie.