Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal team up again in the sequel to 'Analyze This'. Facing a long spell behind bars, mafia boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) manages to convince the prison authorities that he should be committed for psychiatric treatment (he sings songs from the musical 'West Side Story' and weeps all the time). They decide he should be released into the custody of his therapist, Ben Sobel (Crystal) - which also means having to live with him! This time, Vitti decides he will go straight, but it's more difficult than it seems when you are used to getting your own way and your old buddies keep showing up (to check that you are not spilling the beans)...
has more bada bing than its lukewarm box office reception would lead you to expect. Analyze This
(1999) had the advantage of a then-fresh idea--Robert De Niro as a neurotic mob boss seeking therapy with reluctant shrink Billy Crystal--but that idea's stale (and has been handled more authentically in The Sopranos
), so this sequel relies on established chemistry and zesty dialogue that matches the original. There's nothing wrong with a retread when it's this funny, and De Niro's latter-day penchant for comedy suits him well when, as kingpin Paul Vitti, he lures Dr Sobel (Crystal) into a prison breakout scheme involving faked catatonia and West Side Story
show tunes. The contrived plot involves Vitti's criminal comeback. Unfortunately, there's little room for Lisa Kudrow as Sobel's sarcastic wife, but De Niro's Raging Bull
co-star Cathy Moriarty-Gentile is welcomed as a rival mob queen. You want a comedy masterpiece? Fuhgeddaboudit. You want 95 minutes of easy fun? It's right here... and don't miss those obligatory outtakes. --Jeff Shannon