for language and some sexual content.
Robert De Niro
as Paul Vitti
Analyze That was a so-so comedy; a sequel to a film that wasn't memorable to begin with. It had some laughs but in the end, was really nothing special.
Paul Vitti thinks someone is out to get him while he's in prison. So he enlists the unwitting help of his old friend Dr. Ben Sobel to get him out of jail so he can track down who is coming after him. Is the his old mob family or another mob family looking to take over the city? In order to get the feds off his back, Vitti takes a bunch of odd jobs along the way, including a car salesman and jewelry store worker, until he ends up being a consultant on a Sopranos-type show called Little Caesar. Along the way he concocts a scheme to steal some gold and ends up getting Dr. Sobel involved. And in the end everyone is happy.
That's pretty much the story. Nothing too original, although I did like the Sopranos takeoff with Little Caesar. There were some funny scenes but nothing that really made me laugh out loud. I guess one of the problems is that the first film wasn't very memorable. I couldn't really remember anything about that film other than it starred De Niro and Crystal. So when I see these same characters again after 3 and a half years, I wonder why I should care about them since I can't remember them in the first place. And there was nothing in this film that I can say a year or so from now I'll remember either.
I thought that Lisa Kudrow was horribly underused in this film. There could have been a lot of comedy from her perspective but they decided to concentrate on having De Niro singing showtunes instead. None of what happened really made a lot of sense and much of what went on seemed to be there just to set up another joke that didn't work. Some of the scenes that were funny had nothing to do with the movie, like Dr. Sobel in the sushi restaurant on his medication (which I don't think we ever found out what it was). And the funniest part of the entire film was the outtakes over the closing credits. You really can't just take two actors that happened to work well together once and throw them into another film and expect it to fly. Give it a story, add some real comedy and use the supporting characters more.
De Niro was given a lot of things to do that appeared to be there just because people didn't expect De Niro to do it, not because it was really funny. The whole West Side Story showtune thing, him crying all the time. Yeah, it was nice seeing De Niro play against type, but that doesn't mean it was funny; just different. And Crystal wasn't let loose like he could have been. People like him, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams and a few others are comedians who need to improvise a lot in order to get their real funny personalities out and when they're tied down to a script, or bored by it as Crystal seemed to be, you can tell in their performances. When Crystal was let loose a little, like in the sushi scene, he was funny, but for the most part, I was as bored as he was.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall I found Analyze That to be disappointing. It's not worth paying big bucks to see in the theater, but it might be a decent rental down the road. Basically, I just didn't find it engaging enough to be entertaining.
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© 2002 Wolfpack Productions