Absolutely Anything | Film review - Simon Pegg's super powers can't save this feeble British comedy

Absolutely Anything - Simon Pegg
(Image credit: Giles Keyte)
(Image credit: Giles Keyte)

Simon Pegg’s feckless London schoolteacher suddenly finds himself endowed with the ability to do anything he wishes. Sadly, this doesn’t extend to saving embarrassingly feeble British sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything, a long-nurtured project by co-writer-director Terry Jones that has finally but inexplicably been greenlit.

Pegg’s bone-idle teacher is an unwitting guinea pig being tested by a bunch of aliens (voiced by Jones and fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle) as a prelude to destroying the planet.

Absolutely Anything - Simon Pegg & Dennis the Dog

(Image credit: Giles Keyte)

The uses to which he puts his new gifts are fairly lame - enabling his dog to talk (a dismayingly dog-eared final role for Robin Williams), turning his school colleague Sanjeev Bhaksar into an object of cult devotion and striving to make his frosty downstairs neighbour (Kate Beckinsale) fall in love with him.

The jokes are mostly mirthless, sub sit-com stuff, but one brief gag does raise a chuckle when Pegg’s wish for a penis that women find exciting is swiftly followed by the addendum, ‘Can I have one in white?’


Certificate 12A. Runtime 86 mins. Director Terry Jones. http://youtube.com/v/0CYVGN98ZLA

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.