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Anger Management (2003)

Anger: it’s the only thing you can’t get rid of by losing it

Directed by:

Peter Segal

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 106 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Country: United States

Adam Sandler and mindless yelling go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dingedy ding de dong (as they'd no doubt say in “Grease”). So, in these days of road rage, air rage and that Slim Shady bloke, he's the obvious choice for the lead role in any movie centring around the art of losing one's rag.

Slightly less obvious are the reasons behind the selection of Jack Nicholson as the unorthodox anger management therapist who steps in to fix Sandler's case of “implosive rage”. Then again, if similarly-respected big-hitters such as Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken can humiliate themselves in substandard comic fare such as “Analyze That” and “Kangaroo Jack”, then why not Nicholson?

In fairness, “Anger Management” is far better than either of those two movies, particularly in the first half when it provides several laughable sketch situations. Sandler is Dave Buznik, an average Joe whose temper becomes increasingly tested when he's wrongfully accused of assaulting an air hostess and, by order of the court, is taken under the wing of Nicholson's eyebrow-twitching Dr Buddy Rydell.

Before long Buznik's entire life has been turned upside down by the good doctor's methods which, handily, involve plenty of opportunity for Sandler to do lots of wrestling about and shoutinhg. For the early stages it works well and both main players do their bit impressively enough. Marissa Tomei is also on decent form as Sandler's frustrated girlfriend, whilst there are cameos a-plenty from the likes of Heather Graham, John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson.

Unfortunately, it loses its way towards the end, becoming increasingly contrived and decreasingly funny. Despite its early promise, neither the script nor plotline are good enough to sustain the 100-plus minutes, and things eventually degenerate into standard Sandler farce. Unfortunately, it's been seen too many times before.

It's Got: Woody Harrelson looking frightening in drag.

It Needs: To live up to its early potential.

Alternatives:

Analyze That, Analyze This, As Good As It Gets, What About Bob?

Summary

A half-decent comedy that starts off well but collapses about halfway through and fails to recover.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I saw it on a TV re-run because I thought it was funny. Unfortunately, about half-way through I dozed off.

    The critique is correct.

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