Anger Management

A Film Review Jason L. King

Rating:Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content and language 
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, John Turturro, Marrissa Tomei, and a lot of other cameo appearances 
Directed By:Peter Segal 

Final Grade: 

I like to think of myself as the average, mild mannered guy, who has just a hint of anger in him. I throw things at the TV when my Atlanta Braves lose, I grouch at for no reason at a certain employee at work, who probably doesn’t totally deserve it, but I do it anyway. I become a little irritated when things don’t always go my way. And in the world of movies, I’m easily angered by wasting my time on worthless movies that have potential. I am even more easily angered when I get emails from people telling me “Just Married” is a good movie. But does that mean that I need take a course in anger management? Nah…I’m calm… I’m not angered…but then again…if you don’t agree with me, I’ll probably have to kill you…

OK…OK…Fine. Maybe I have a little hint of anger stored up inside of me. Everyone does. Everyone at least has angered thoughts about their lives, their jobs, their love lives…I know I am not alone. That’s why it should be easy for everyone to at least find a shred of familiarity to the life of David Brusnick.

Anger Management opened this weekend, which paired two of the most oddly paired individuals on the planet. The film, starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, tells the story of David Brusnick (Sandler), a mild mannered guy who after a slight altercation with a flight attendant finds himself in the hands of a crazed Anger Management Therapist named Buddy Rydell (Nicholson). And In order to avoid a prison sentence Brusnick must pass Rydell’s program with flying colors, no matter how ridiculous the program may be.

First of all, I would like to give credit where credit is due. The creators of this film came up with one of the most bizarre ideas in the world, by pairing Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson together in a film. And that bizarre idea worked for them. Sandler and Nicholson. Just the idea of it is a laugh.

The film however, wasn’t as much of a joking matter. The film had its potentially funny moments. In fact, it was pretty funny in spots. I laughed a lot, especially when John Turturro was on the screen, but sadly enough this film was too bogged down with blatant stupidity to keep it from actually being a grade A comedy. The “funny” parts were clouded quickly by an array of random pointless over the top antics that not only made the story more and more ridiculous by the minute, but also more unbelievably pointless.

Still never the less, the film pressed on, not straying shy for one moment from the now clichéd Adam Sandler flick. Sandler’s acting ability he tried to show off in Punch Drunk Love took the back seat again to his once famed, “Abby Dooby” style of acting. (You all remember that kind of acting…it’s the Sandler that got old after Happy Gilmore). I know I said this in Mr. Deeds, but I will say it again. Sandler Needs to get out of this rut. He is trapped in a world where he can only be funny if he spouts off stupid nonsense phrases and plays the same character over and over and over again, each time in a different situation. If he doesn’t break this pattern, expect to see Sandler as the next Meg Ryan. You all remember her, she is that one girl who did all kind of romantic comedies, then got old, her career dried up, and now she is praying that somehow someone will let her have a role that isn’t a romantic comedy, but she is long forgotten. Sandler is headed in the same path in the future; because eventually his typecast comedic style will have run it’s course and will have just become boring.

As for Sandler’s partner in crime, Jack Nicholson, it was fun to see him in this role, even though the character was nothing outstanding. Nicholson fit the role well, and made it fun to watch, even through some of the more ludicrous parts of the flick.

The one thing Sandler never leaves out is a cameo. This film makes no exceptions and has plenty of cameo appearances by a few famous folks some of you may recognize. Seeing the variety of cameos makes the movie fun, and gives you something to look for but all in all, cameos can’t make the film. So unfortunately our end result is that the flick was a lot like a Martin Lawrence flick. What you see in the trailer, are basically the “funny” parts of the film; the rest is just over the top comedic crap hidden amongst the murky waters of stupidity. The few “funny” parts you didn’t see in the trailer really don’t make the film worth the $6 you spend to watch it in the Box offices. The end result of Anger Management is a second installment in the Adam Sandler “Mr. Deeds/ 8 Crazy Nights comedy.” – In other words an aging Sandler struggling to not be forgotten in the comedic world…

The film had a great cast, and great potential. It even has some good one-liners, and a few funny parts that will make even the hard-nosed critic like myself snicker. But all in all, those comedic moments are few and far spread, and the end result had me not sure if I wanted to just laugh at it, and walk away $6 poorer but mildly refreshed, or instead throw my popcorn bag at the screen for being angered at the mediocre film I had just saw. I chose the first choice, and walked back to my desk: my form of Anger Management Therapy, and shared with you my troubled thoughts on this film… 

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