Simon Pegg is granted the power to do absolutely anything by a bunch of aliens and then proceeds to do absolutely nothing with it of any interest whatsoever. What. A. Surprise. This is the latest in a lengthy list of Simon Pegg led films that have no real point to them – soft comedies that feel sanitised and apologetic from the offset, much like the characters he relentlessly plays, and where the laughs effectively have someone standing there with a sign saying ‘This is funny. You can laugh now’, and are greeted with silence.
Naturally, the core concept is Pegg’s character is a dork who can’t get the woman he likes (Kate Beckinsale), or rather he thinks he can’t and that by ultimately doing the right thing everyone will live happily ever after. Watching this it’s impossible not to feel ashamed at the amount of money that must have been spent on gags which are beyond terrible, with acting that’s just a complete waste of biomatter. Speaking of which, things we see the superpowers used for range from some dog excrement being told to clean-up after itself, and then it promptly forms into a pair of legs and marches into the bin, lovely, to helping out his mate by having the girl he is infatuated with fall head-over-heels for him, which sees him run off immediately in the opposite direction. LAME. I mean, come on – you wouldn’t get tired of that scenario for a pretty, long, time.
Sad beyond sad is that the aliens in question, who are testing mortals to see if the Earth should be annihilated or not, are actually played by the entirety of the extant members of Monty Python (Terry Jones directs the film, and co-wrote it along with non-Python Gavin Scott), and when the protagonist’s dog is made to speak he is voiced by none other than Robin Williams in his last ever acting role, but their combined talents are drowned by the indulgent drudgery running rampant onscreen. Pegg recently had the audacity to launch a public tirade against the ‘dumbing-down’ of the movie industry and more specifically the success of superhero films, movies beloved by millions, but then I suppose he is an actor/screenwriter who has been mired in gritty, surrealist/realist exposés of the human condition and has struggled for recognition and to have his work shown in more than a few thea… Oh no, wait a minute, he’s made millions effectively becoming the live-action equivalent of Jar Jar Binks and continues to headline vacuous, inert, twaddle. Hmm.