*NEW* ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING REVIEW *NEW*

absolutely-anything

I would recommend that you see absolutely anything else.

And that’s coming from a Python fan! On paper, Pegg and the Pythons spelled perfection. Pull the other one!

A group of eccentric aliens confer a human being (Simon Pegg) with the power to do absolutely anything as an experiment.

After watching the Monty Python reunion at the O2 arena, I was a little anxious about their latest offering. The old gags felt stale and the gang just didn’t deliver for me. I understand that they couldn’t reach that level of energy and eccentricity (Come on, they’re in their seventies) BUT at least they used to be funny. Tragically that rut has continued.

The premise was pretty much a British take on Bruce Almighty. BUT even that fell short by comparison. The flat opening really didn’t get things going.

The Pythons provided their voicing gravitas to the aliens. It was silly enough but far too tame as they translated their alien names into female ones and bickered about destroying Planet Earth.

Pegg certainly carried this lead balloon as much as he could and was a likeable lead. Once he got his powers, things really got into the flow. Shame that the momentum couldn’t stick. BUT I was entertained for a good twenty minutes.

Pegg’s bathroom body enhancements had me howling. Hang on. Let me rephrase that. The fact he asks for the body of a great man and turns into Albert Einstein delivered the silly chuckle. And a gag involving the changing of one’s appendage was unexpected but dropped a cracking punch line.

All the little jokes from the dog mess cleaning itself up to Pegg’s mate getting his own cult, ticked the boxes but it just wasn’t enough. Maybe I expected too much after growing up with the Python movies and TV shows. The Holy Grail and Life of Brian were iconic comedy classics. BUT this? Dreadful. The rest of the gags and set pieces were ridiculous, corny and stupid for all the wrong reasons.

The stunning Kate Beckinsale did her best with her role but the love subplot with Pegg was too bland and nauseating to care about. Sanjeev Bhaskar didn’t do a bad job as Pegg’s best friend and tried to keep things watchable.

Joanna Lumley was terrible in her cameo. You know you’re onto a loser when Ab Fab’s Patsy can’t save the day. The idea of a book critic grilling authors for scandal and ratings over intellect and culture may have sounded good on paper (In fact it doesn’t). BUT the finished result certainly wasn’t and by the end you wondered why her character was even involved.

There was a saving grace with the late but always great Robin Williams as Dennis the dog. He was hilarious. Meshing all sorts of crazy voices including a spot of the old Doubtfire. The canine’s obsession with biscuits and running commentary on any passing thought that popped in his head delivered the much needed laughs.

Eddie Izzard wasn’t in this enough as the Headmaster. He delivered with the tiny tidbits he was given. While Rob Riggle, on the other hand, was in it far too much. Normally you could bank on the chap to deliver the goods after his appearances in Step Brothers and Let’s Be Cops. But this time around, he was irritating and highly unfunny.

It didn’t help that the divide between the Pythons and Eric Idle was so obvious. Even as an alien, Idle was separate from the team. Whether it was meant to be a joke in itself baffled me. He even had his own skit as a racist skeleton. You read that right. I don’t know if I made that sound better or worse.

The tone was all over the place. It was macabre in one sequence. A joke about Pegg’s classroom blowing up certainly delivered the shock factor with a surprise asteroid attack. BUT in the next frame, we had people running around London with webbed feet and big fluffy ears. It felt like the gang suddenly realised that the film was supposed to be a 12A and watered it down. Killing off the last 30 minutes. The last 30 minutes of an 86 minute film.

I knew it was always going to fall short of the iconic Life of Brian and Holy Grail BUT I expected so much more. For good portions of the film, I was bored or cringing at how dire the gags really were.

Disappointed would be an overstatement. Pegg and the cast do their best and there were some laughs to be had BUT it was all for nothing. One star for the cast and one for the jokes that did tickle me.

2/5

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DUMB AND DUMBER TO REVIEW

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Hey! Want to see the second most annoying and needless sequel ever? No, not that. This!

GOT YA!

I didn’t like it a lot but it proved one thing. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels have still got it!

In all fairness, I’m being a little harsh. I laughed a lot more than I expected.

It is a welcome return of sorts.

And we always knew it was going to be a tough act to follow from the iconic original. A hit that I still quote word for word and watch repeatedly.

When rumours started spreading that a sequel was in the pipeline, I had my doubts. BUT they were soon squashed when the dynamic duo were confirmed.

The trailers unfortunately reveal most of the better gags. BUT there were still some hilarious moments to be had.

However, no matter how hard they tried, Dumb and Dumber To still fell short. It didn’t help that the feeble story line ended up being nothing more than a regurgitation of the first one.

So what happens in this one? 20 years since their first adventure, Lloyd (Carrey) and Harry (Daniels) go on a road trip to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.

Carrey and Daniels don’t look any different. It feels like we never left them. They nail it. I just wish they had better characters to work with. In the original we had the ill tempered trucker Sea Bass, Mary Swanson and Mike Starr’s Joe Mentalino.

This time round, we have Laurie Holden’s (The Walking Dead) toe sucking femme fatale and a double helping of Rob Riggle. Toe sucking femme fatale? You read that right.

A weird running gag in which Holden loves sucking toes and playing with feet wasn’t very funny. And she didn’t do much else.

Rob Riggle playing a pair of twins should have been funnier considering what a comical supporting act he has proven to be (Let’s Be Cops/21 Jump Street/Step Brothers).

And he had the odd moment. Especially during the prank wars. Oh yes, they’re back!

The opening half an hour was a lot better than I expected.

The idea that Lloyd had been sitting in a loony bin after his “break up” with Mary Swanson for 20 years as a prank shouldn’t have worked. BUT it did.

The pair then pick up where they left off. Nothing has really changed and the little nods to the original are all there. Even the apartment looks the same minus Butthole the cat.

I wonder why they called him that? 😉

I want to say so much about some of the surprises that pop up. BUT I won’t spoil it all for the D + D fans. In case, you were wondering though. A certain tenant with some pretty birds makes an appearance.

The prank wars are back. Lloyd’s random dream sequences are back. And they are all still entertaining.

The silly subplot involving Harry’s long lost daughter (Rachel Melvin) and a predictable and uninteresting diabolical scheme with Holden and Riggle felt lazy and uninteresting. It killed what buzz I was getting from Carrey and Daniels.

I knew there had to be a ploy to get them back on the road but surely The Farrelly Brothers could have cooked up something better?

Jim Carrey is on fine form. Delivering some new quotable one liners.

A scene in which Lloyd is trying to help Harry ends up setting up the silliest punch line that got a cheeky grin from me.

“Harry just needs to bond . . . Pause . . . Cue a face pull and Sean Connery accent. James Bond”. Brilliant. What?

The infamous Freda Felcher finally makes a cameo. Described as a “Titanic whore” and a women adored by all men. It was funny that it would be 80s sexpot Kathleen Turner.

But those days have not been kind to her. It’s been a long time since Body Heat.

Turner proves she is game for a laugh and the dimwitted duo don’t hold back the punches. Intentional or otherwise.

Lloyd falling for Harry’s daughter was hilarious. It even had the cheesy love theme that they used for Mary.

BUT I felt Rachel Melvin joining in on being a dimwit kind of killed it a little bit. She had a couple of one liners. However two’s company, three’s a crowd.

What I loved about the subplot with the original was all the in-jokes. The fact Harry and Lloyd were perceived as intelligent blackmailers who “disposed” of hitmen and unwittingly got involved with the FBI. All because they wanted to return a briefcase to a crush. Brilliant.

This time around. It’s the same old guff. The dimwits get mistaken for clever masterminds delivering a package while visiting estranged daughter.

It just doesn’t work though and the last 20 minutes killed the film for me.

Don’t get me wrong. The first 40 minutes I was laughing. In fact I might even have snorted. A scene involving an old lady and a reference about a turkey had me cringing.

Lloyd’s encounters with a Chinese couple and a professor that resembled a certain physicist were hilarious.

For it’s all failings, it was still miles better than the pathetic prequel. The only one who got out of that mess with any credit was Eric Christian Olsen. He was superb as Lloyd.

It zipped along, delivered more laughs than I expected BUT got too caught up in a naff story line that slowed everything down to a snail’s pace.

If (A BIG IF) the guys thought to push for a third, I wouldn’t say no. Just give them a better premise.

2.5/5

LET’S BE COPS REVIEW

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Let’s Be Cops! Let’s not . . .

Until I’ve finishing this review. Ah ha! Anyway . . .

Nick and Original Pilot Coach from New Girl decide to be cops leading to an OTT but highly watchable action comedy. That’s what you get!

Some of the better bits are in the trailers and I feared that there would be little in between. However, it was all down to the partnership and chemistry of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr that allowed jokes that really should have been mediocre and ridiculous, quite entertaining. Certain jokes still fall flat on their backside. An initial joke in which Justin (Wayans Jr) tells a line of apprehended Russian mobsters to put their hands on their heads and body pop started off funny but went on too long. Facebook selfies with rifles. Silly but okay.

I guess it’s down to what mood you’re in. If you think the premise is ridiculous then do not bother. It’s get a whole lot crazier and a whole lot sillier. But if you’re up for that then bienvenue, wilkommen, welcome!

Most of the heavily advertised funny bits in the trailers were done in the first 20 minutes. Although funny, if you’ve been unlucky to see them numerous times it’s highly predictable. I’m worried that Johnson may be typecast into playing Nick now for the rest of his acting career. I hope I’m wrong. It works this time round even if his character is a little more demented. The guy practices knife combat training with a kid he met in the park. Crazy. His impulsive EBay purchase of an old police vehicle and combat education from YouTube videos was too scary a concept with this day and age.

The plot is hardly original. Two thirty year old slackers that are either frustrated with work (or not working at all) get given an opportunity to be somebody (well pretend to be somebody), inevitably leading to hi-jinks and upsetting the Russian mob. James D’Arcy (Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World) didn’t do too badly as the Russian psychopath. He had the acting conviction but not the body to pull it off. It was hard to be intimidated by his scrawny demeanour. But at the same time, with the tank sized henchmen at his disposal, does he need to bulk up?

The supporting cast certainly do help make this film work. An unrecognisable Keegan-Michael Key (Fargo) played the highly agitated and crazy drug peddler Pupa to perfection, delivering the gags where the pace seemed to dip. Nick (Johnson), I mean Ryan’s interpretation of waterboarding Pupa for information was hilarious. Natasha Leggero’s (Suburgatory) crazy cougar cameo wowewewow. For others, they may find her irritating and stupid but me . . . and Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) oh my goodness.

Okay, I’ll stop. Wayans Jr and Dobrev play the inevitable couple subplot spiel as well as they can. But it’s still corny and predictable as hell. I was surprised to see Rob Riggle playing it straight faced for a change. Especially after his hilarious supporting turns in 22 Jump Street and Step Brothers. However, it works so much better. And Andy Garcia, where you been? Great to see him back in movies and poking fun at himself. Even if he plays it incredibly straight faced. I think he was the only person doing some proper “acting” acting.

Johnson and Wayans Jr work well together. Their characters will hardly top the action comedy duos of all time but they certainly help make this film more enjoyable than it should be for all its clichéd and OTT guff. They can make as many Lethal Weapon references as they want but Riggs and Murtaugh they ain’t. Wayans Jr was definitely the scene stealer for me. He does his father proud, following his style but is still able to put his own stamp on it. It’s corny, predictable, OTT but it’s not the worst way to kill 100 minutes and it delivered more laughs than I expected. However, the best cop com movie for me is still 22 Jump Street, which this one falls short of. But NOT BAD.

For me, it’s a 3/5.