What is this shit?
Schlubby, average-Joe school teacher Neil (Simon Pegg) is gifted godlike powers by space aliens. As Neil learns how to deal with his powers, he also tries to woo his pretty neighbor, Catherine (Kate Beckinsale). Plus, there's a talking dog.
What's This Shit All About?
This flick is essentially a morality play about the morality and corrupting qualities of power. Neil is given his abilities to test whether humans are morally mature enough to join the intergalactic community. If they prove not to be, the Earth will be obliterated. So, no pressure. Themes about greed and selfishness are played with, and Neil learns a valuable lesson about the quality of his character.
The Good Shit!
Simon Pegg!! Pegg is great as Neil, capturing a full spectrum of one might go through if they actually attain the abilities of a deity. He's a great everyman, but not so average that you don't think he could attract someone who looks like Catherine. And his reactions to what he can do (and how wrong it goes) are hilarious. And his relationship with Dennis, his dog, is the best relationship in the flick. It doesn't hurt that Robin Williams voices Dennis. Throw in some funny visual gags and some funny voice work from the Monty Python gang, and you got a good foundation for cinematic entertainment.
The Bad Shit!
Well... Beckinsale's character is a bit of a letdown. She doesn't much personality and makes little impression in the midst of this movie's craziness. Rob Riggle shows up to play a role so one-note and over the top, he's actually hard to watch.
The visual effects are pretty fake looking, and it pops you out of the story in a couple scenes. But the worst issue is that the movie feels unfinished. The ending doesn't land with much impact, something that could possibly could've been solved by another rewrite. The movie also feels like it lacks stakes, perhaps because you know Neil can undo anything bad he does with a wave of his hands. This also helps the movies feel incomplete. And while I appreciated that the movie didn't preach and talk down to me, I would've liked it if it would have made a more profound statement about its themes.
Wrap This Shit Up!
All in all, Absolutely Anything is a pretty fun little flick. It's got problems, but it's also got a lot of laughs, a talking dog and a great performance by Pegg. At an hour and 25 minutes, it breezes by pretty quickly, and the actress who plays Miss Pringle is smoking hot. So, yeah. There are far worse ways to kill an hour and a half.