The Angriest Man In Brooklyn

The Angriest Man In Brooklyn

I love Robin Williams, but he’s almost too good an actor to
play the title role in The Angriest Man
in Brooklyn
: his fury is so palpable that it’s actually hard to watch. That
might work if the film were a farce, but this modest new release doesn’t seem
to know what chord to strike: it veers wildly from madcap farce to social
satire to sentimental family drama.

Williams plays a Jewish lawyer who’s angry at the world in
general, not entirely without reason. When he encounters a stressed-out doctor
(Mila Kunis) who has the unenviable task of telling him he has a brain
aneurism, he so berates her that she impulsively tells him he only has an hour
and a half to live. That shocking news prompts him to try to put his life in
order in just 90 minutes’ time.

There are good moments here and there, and a strong cast
including Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo, James Earl Jones, Hamish Linklater,
Richard Kind, Bob Dishy, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Even Broadway darling Sutton
Foster turns up in a brief, thankless role. With all that talent involved, and
Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams, In
the Mood
) in the director’s chair, it’s a shame this isn’t a better film.

The borough of Brooklyn provides a pleasing variety of
locations, as well. But Daniel Taplitz’s screenplay, adapted from the Israeli
film The 92 Minutes of Mr. Baum, tries
to cover too many bases. A scene in which Williams tries to purchase a video
camera from a stammering James Earl Jones is positively embarrassing. The film
as a whole unspools in less than 90 minutes, which is to its credit…but there’s
little else to praise in this forgettable comedy-drama.

The Angriest Man in
Brooklyn
opens in theaters today, and is also available on Video on Demand.

           

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Comments

mike schlesinger

Twenty years ago, a Phil Alden Robinson with a cast like that would have been a major studio release. Now it's one-week-and-out at the art houses day-and-date with VOD. Depressing.

Joe

Hey Leonard what did you think of the new X-Men movie?

Norm

Want to keep 90 minutes of your life, don't get angry when reviewers dismiss your film. Seems that many people are angry these days, do you really need a film to explain it or work you through your issues ? No, but that doesn't upset me or even make my eyes turn green..aarrgghhh…There should be better films on the way…

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