Simon Pegg plays secondary school teacher Neil Clarke, the fortunate man bestowed with the honour of having this very gift – set upon him by a group of extraterrestrial beings (voiced by the Monty Python collective) who are using him as a mere guinea pig, deciding on the future of the human race and whether we all deserve to be kept alive, based upon his very actions and how he utilises his newfound ability. Though he has the world quite literally as his fingertips, he mostly uses his power as a means of self-serving, allowing his pet dog to talk (voiced by Robin Williams), while hoping it could help lure his neighbour Catherine (Kate Beckinsale) into a relationship with him. However he soon discovers that having such remarkable, surreal powers doesn’t always equate to the pure happiness it promises.
Absolutely Anything continues on an unwanted trend for Pegg, of making mediocre British comedies, far removed from the ingenuity of his earlier work. Following on from the likes of A Fantastic Fear of Everything, Hector and the Search for Happiness and Man Up – it’s hard to fathom quite what somebody so creative sees in such unfunny pieces of cinema. There is the occasional joke in this, such as when he stands in front of the mirror requesting ‘a more exciting dick’ but such instances are few and far between. There’s also a frustrating sense of predictability to proceedings, though in some regards, it evokes a feeling of comfort, which makes for a film that while immensely flawed, is at the very least congenial. That’s not quite the word you’d look to use when describing the computer animated interludes featuring the aliens however – as they’re presented in an ugly style of animation that isn’t at all pleasing on the eye.
Considering we’re dealing with a film that unites the Monty Python troupe, not to mention the fact this is the very last time we’re to see (well in this case, hear) Robin Williams on the big screen, it’s difficult not to leave feeling somewhat disappointed at the close of play, as a feature that promises the world, and delivers very little. So to answer the initial question of what you’d want to do if you could absolutely anything. Well, choosing to go back in time 90 minutes and see something else would be rather high up on the agenda.