Throw around names like Simon Pegg, Robin Williams, and Monty Python, and you are going to capture the attention of a significant number of us out here in the land of movie fandom. Williams tragically took his own life earlier this year. One of his final performances is in the sci-fi-themed comedy Absolutely Anything, and it seems somehow appropriate that he voices Dennis the Dog, which you get to experience for the first time in this new clip.
The film follows Neil (Pegg), a teacher in a dead end secondary school who is given great powers by aliens. Basically, he can wave his hand and make anything happen. As director Terry Jones, who also voices one of the visitors from space, explains it, Neil apparently doesn’t realize the extent of what he can do “until his colleague says, ‘What would you do if you could do anything?’ and Neil responds with, ‘I’d make an alien spaceship hit class 4C and vaporise them.’ Then there’s an explosion in the school, and they run to 4C’s classroom, open the door and there’s a vast hole in the ground.”
Neil’s newfound powers are on full display in this clip, which is our first real look at Absolutely Anything outside of a handful of stills. You see him feeding himself without using his hands, though you want to be careful where you look as this goes on, and he can magically make himself understand German. As someone who spends more time talking to his dogs than to other people, I can definitely relate to wanting to know what my pets are actually thinking. Though mine, like Neil’s, would just yell at me for food.
We’ve heard that Williams’ voice work on Absolutely Anything might not have been totally finished at the time of his death, but from what we see here, it’s vintage stuff from the Mork and Mindy star. Something about his manic performance reminds me of his turn as the genie in Aladdin, with the frenetic, mile-a-minute pace and delivery. Even after Dennis becomes a rational thinking creature, he still has a very one-track mind—okay, there are two distinct tracks.
In addition to Jones, his Monty Python brethren John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Palin also lend their voices to the aliens. Kate Beckinsale plays Neil’s girlfriend, and apparently he comes to a place where he must choose between his dog and his lady friend. Absolutely Anything hits theaters in the U.K. on February 13, 2015, but there is no U.S. release date scheduled yet.