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Analyze That /

Rated: R
Starring: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Brian Rogalski
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Produced by: Jane Rosenthal, Paula Weinstein, Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Barry Levinson
Written by: Harold Ramis, Peter Tolan, Peter Steinfeld

Distributor: Warner Brothers

 

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     Analyze That is funny at times, but never executes with a unique flair; this is a textbook comedy with textbook characters, but does without a doubt please audiences. This is one film that is exactly what it is supposed to be; there are no big surprises, gigantic laughs, or moments that simply work on all areas of the board, but it promises us a good time and we receive one. Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro still have excellent chemistry, and are without out a doubt hysterical. Will there be an Analyze Them coming any time soon? No. But this sequel works just as good as any buddy comedy in recent memory.

     Analyze That reintroduces the same characters, who first appeared in the original, Analyze This. As a direct continuation of the first, That opens up to the main character of both films, Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro). Vitti is in prison, due to his work for the mob, but he desperately needs to get out. This is for two reasons: to gain revenge on some of his old mobster rivals and to escape from someone who is trying to kill him in prison. The only way he can possibly get out is to utilize his old therapist, Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal). Dr. Sobol will hopefully be able to gain legal rights to Paul, who will be able to house him on a restricted parole.

     Vitti will not be able to accomplish this easily; he is a murderer, a con-man, and a mob boss. His approach to gaining a ticket out of jail is simply by pretending that heís insane. Vitti begins to sleep on an irregular schedule, sing songs from the musical Westside Story, and play dumb. The prison hires Dr. Sobol to analyze his behavior to determine what is happening to him. Sobol concludes that he has gone temporarily insane, and non stressful activities will help him get back to a normal mental state. They let Sobol have full possession of Vitti, and his home is now classified as a small institution for prisoners, though it only houses one. From past experiences with this man, seen in Analyze This, Sobol isnít exactly happy to have Vitti.

     Dr. Sobol expects that Vitti has adopted this state of mind to get out of prison, but still decides to take him in. The two leave the jail in his car, and Vitti still appears to be ill-minded after the engine is turned on. Little does Sobol know, Vitti is just making sure that no one near the prison realizes that he is in fact making up the entire sickness, and hypnotizing the prison guards into thinking that it is real. After driving for a few minutes, Vitti returns to his normal, mob, state of mind. Sobol is tempted to take him right back to being locked up in a small cell, but for some reason, resists. Vitti informs the doctor that he will have some of his fellow mobsters pick him up when at his house, but that is something much too nutty for him to allow. Over the next few days, Sobol and Vitti share arguments, struggles, and find that they have very similar personalities.

     Analyze That isnít as original and fresh as Analyze This was made out to be, but still offers an entertaining experience. Crystal and DeNiro deliver their fair share of laughs, and I am still pleased with what they have to offer as comedians. The storyline has a considerable amount of confliction that allows the comedy to excel. With the terrible choices at local movie theatres today, Analyze That is probably one of the better picks.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

 


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