Saturday, March 20, 2010

Anger Management. C+

There isn't anything terribly wrong with 'Anger Management.' But there's also nothing exceptionally good about it, which comes as a disappointment considering the talent of Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler was mostly wasted. The best part of the movie was the first fifteen minutes, which led me to believe this might be terrific comedy. After a little opening sequence that introduces Dave as a child, the movie zooms forward 25 years. Now Dave is grown up and played by Sandler. We see him on a plane, where he's seated next to an older man who's watching an on-flight movie. The man finds the movie funny, so Dave requests a pair of headphones so he can watch it, too. I don't really want to give away the scene, but what happens is very funny-well, not so much for Dave. He goes to court for assaulting a stewardess and is sentenced to an anger-management program. His doctor turns out to be that man on the plane. He's played by Nicholson, who has fun with his role but doesn't do much more than that. The doctor then moves in with Dave so he can closely examine his issues and it's here that the movie gets very similar to the 1991 comedy 'What About Bob?' Only while that movie managed to keep the humor steadily funny, 'Anger Management' can barely maintain our attention, let alone make us laugh. The jokes became desperate and lame, and the movie really collapsed at the overblown finale at Yankee Stadium. Still, as I said, the movie's not awful. It's just very mediocre. The script by David Dorfman really wastes both Nicholson and Sandler, as well as the director Peter Segal, who's had success in the comedy genre before.

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