Analyze That

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Joe D’Onofrio
Director: Harold Ramis

In case you hadn’t guessed ANALYZE THAT is the sequel to ANALYZE THIS. The cast is the same but is the comedy as good?

Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) is still a psychiatrist married to Laura (Lisa Kudrow) and Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) is serving time in prison and soon to be due for parole. However Vitti unexpectedly starts behaving in a very eccentric manner and then goes into a kind of trance, not responding to any stimulus at all although he can still walk around. Ben is called in to determine if Vitti is faking it and reluctantly agrees to have Vitti released into his custody.

Vitti is faking it of course and it’s then Ben’s responsibility to get him a job that the parole board will approve of and after some failed attempts Vitti becomes a consultant on a TV cop show. But someone has put a hit out on Vitti and in any case old habits die hard.

ANALYZE THAT is quite an enjoyable movie and it really wouldn’t matter too much if you hadn’t seen the first one as the characters quickly establish themselves. However if you have seen ANALYZE THIS , don’t set your expectations quite as high because you might be a little disappointed.

While Robert De Niro’s character is just as good – if not better – Billy Crystal seems to have dulled. His performance is slowly paced for the most part and it’s as if he’s purposefully measured his delivery and slowed it down, either to emphasise the fact that he is older now or to dumb things down so his jokes don’t speed past a slightly stupid audience? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t work but occasionally he does speed up and when this happens he’s back to his old form.

Lisa Kudrow incidentally is totally wasted and as we know she can turn in her share of laughs every week on FRIENDS. I would have to say that the blame here lies firmly with the scriptwriters.

But as I said earlier ANALYZE THAT is quite enjoyable and a lot of this is due to Robert De Niro who comes out with probably a higher share of funny scenes than anyone.

Maybe it’s a case of too much self-analysis on Billy Crystal’s part and too high an expectation on my part.

By the way don’t walk out before the end credits or you’ll miss some very funny out-takes.

4 out of 6 stars