Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal, the unlikely duo that struck gold with 1999's "Analyze This," return in a sequel that no one expected would ever be made, the aptly titled "Analyze That."
De Niro, who's only real hits in the last five or so years have been "Analyze This" and "Meet the Parents" - both comedies - is in desperate need of a string of good, box office hits, as is Billy Crystal, who's only notable movie since 1995's "Forget Paris" is Disney's animated film "Monsters, Inc." Many people are hoping that De Niro will return to his former glory of Oscar-winning dramas and that Crystal will host the Oscars once again. Needing a kick in the pants, the two decided to team together and create a surefire hit, a sequel to the mobster comedy that got good reviews and made over $100 million domestically. Why not? It's a great idea!
Not really. "Analyze That" is probably one of the most unnecessary sequels ever made, although that may be topped by "The Whole Ten Yards," another mobster comedy coming out late in 2003. Regardless, "Analyze This" was a good standalone comedy, but nothing needing a sequel. This is obviously a film meant to cash in and nothing more.
Unfortunately for Warner Brothers, their greediness failed. "Analyze That" has made less than $25 million in two weeks, just a little more than the first movie made in its opening weekend.
Now that we have established that "Analyze That" is an unnecessary sequel that flopped, we can get to the heart of this article, the review...
"Analyze That" has many funny parts, coming from both Crystal and De Niro. Each of these actors have their own brand of humor (De Niro essentially plays a tough guy that turns out to be funny when placed in a comedy) and they work well together; the comedy is still there. De Niro's Paul Vitti character still treats Dr. Sobel (Crystal) like a pansy, but at the same time has respect for the man and cares for him. All of the elements from the first film are there, but...
There's nothing that really screams sequel. "Analyze That" is merely an extended story, with several of the same characters doing the same thing they did before. Unfortunately, while "Analyze This" was a good movie, it was not necessarily a memorable one, and I cannot remember a damn thing about the original. "Analyze That" gets going right away without reminding us, the audience, as to who is who, what is what, and so forth. A little more introduction would have been nice.
Again, "Analyze That" has plenty of comedy, but it also has several slow scenes that nearly put me to sleep. In the last half hour, the comedy really dwindles, but surprisingly, this is where the movie really gets good. The best part about "Analyze That" is it actually has a plot - Vitti pulls off some pretty clever things near the end of the film. They are not completely unpredictable, but clever nonetheless. Still, the movie could have used more comedy in places, especially towards the end.
"Analyze That" is not a bad movie; it has nothing that really resembles a bad movie, and as a sequel it is decent. Nevertheless, it never leaves one's mind that there is really no reason why this movie was made, and it just isn't funny enough to qualify as anything above "decent." It'll make a good rental, but unless you are for some reason a diehard fan of the original, there is no real reason to see this movie in theaters, especially at evening prices.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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