Simon Pegg Can Do "Absolutely Anything" with Kate Beckinsale

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Absolutely Anything on DVD

ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING finds its tagline in riffing on the moral of Spider-Man, setting it on its ear: Great Power. Total Irresponsibility.

That's not entirely true, however, in this comedy farce starring SIMON PEGG as Neil, a man selected totally at random by a group of all-powerful aliens to receive genie-like powers over reality as a test of humankind's worth to survive. Of course, he doesn't know why he has these powers, or where they came from, but suddenly with a simple statement and a wave of his hand, Neil finds himself with absolute power over absolutely anything.

What Neil learns is that words mean things, and the power takes his words quite literally -- which provides much of the humor in ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. Fortunately, he also has the power to undo anything he does, as he learns to be more selective in his phrasing. And while he does do things to make his life easier, Neil truly does try to do the right things to make the world better. He grants his friend Ray (SANJEEV BHASKAR) his wish to have the woman of his dreams worship the ground he walks on, even though it eventually forms a cult around Ray. And he gives his downstairs neighbor, Catherine (KATE BECKINSALE), the office and view she wants, even though she doesn't believe he has the powers.

Neil's attraction to Catherine comes at a cost, however, as she also has a psycho-stalker named Grant (ROB RIGGLE), a hanger-on from a one-night-stand who just happens to have heavy U.S. security clearances. When Grant learns of Neil's abilities, he gets the better of him and begins to force him into granting his own twisted wishes.

While the film doesn't have quite the sticking power of similarly themed movies (BRUCE ALMIGHTY comes to mind), it has many qualities that elevate it: most notably having the cast of the Monty Python team -- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin -- voicing the motley crew of aliens who are testing Earth. And while he doesn't get the most comedic lines in the show, Neil's talking dog, Dennis is voiced by ROBIN WILLIAMS, the actor's final role.

The film is rated R for a brief moment of nudity and perpetual language as Neil curses the unforeseen outcome of his many choices, but it's a mild R at best. Overall, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING is an enjoyable diversion -- briskly paced and packed with sight gags that make it worth picking up.

4.0 / 5.0