A totally unnecessary sequel.
Running Time: 100 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
There was a time when Robert De Niro's presence in any film would be akin to an official stamp of cinematic quality. These days, the once great star of classics like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas seems to have turned into a caricature of his former self, incomprehensibly gurning, mumbling and shrugging his shoulders in a fashion that would probably get the rest of us locked up were we to try it.
Analyze That, his latest bafflingly-bad choice of ill-conceived comedy appearances, sees De Niro reprise the role of Paul Vitti, the stereotyped Mafia swellguy we first met in 1999's Analyze This. Having successfully faked madness by continually belting out West Side Story numbers (sounds funny, but trust me – it's not), Vitti is released from prison and for some reason placed in the custody of long-suffering shrink Ben Sobel (an extremely bored-looking Billy Crystal) and his rarely-seen wife Laura (Lisa Kudrow, basically playing a married version of Phoebe from Friends).
Despite being a murderous mobster with a conviction and apparent mental illness to boot, Vitti is allowed to have a stab at rehabilitation on the outside world. So, whilst secretly making his mob comeback, he takes a “proper” job as adviser on a Sopranos-esque TV gangster series by the name of “Little Caesar”. Meanwhile, Crystal's comic talent is effectively being made totally redundant by a cripplingly unfunny script littered with mindless yelling and bad crotch jokes.
It's hard to believe Harold Ramis, with so many triumphs under his belt, both directed and co-wrote such a rotten film. But even harder to believe is that times are really so hard for either De Niro or Crystal that they would accept parts in this totally unnecessary sequel.
It's Got: An unbilled Anthony LaPaglia as the secretly Australian star of a cringe-worthy crime-packed TV show.
It Needs: To give us back the old Robert De Niro. You know, the good one.
Alternatives:Analyze This, The Whole 9 Yards, What About Bob?
If you liked Analyze This, avoid total disappointment and make sure you avoid Analyze That at all costs. Come to think of it, that advice is pretty much the same whether you liked the original or not.