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Analyze That

The team from the successful 1999 comedy Analyze This return for a second helping. Newly paroled gangster Paul Vitti turns to his trusty psychiatrist Dr. Sobel to keep him out of jail--and out of the mob.


Analyze That starts off with mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) nearing the end of his prison term in Sing Sing. When he realizes that a rival family has put a hit on him, he fakes craziness as a way out of the slammer. Vitti does this by singing the entire score to West Side Story over and over, belting out tunes such as ''Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night,'' in the middle of a riot in the prison cafeteria. With his parole date just a few weeks away, Vitti is released to his longtime shrink, Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal), whose father has just died. The film then follows Vitti as he tries to go the straight and narrow route rather than hitting people over the head with a baseball bat. Vitti ends up taking a token job as a consultant on a popular TV mob drama, LittNiro. It's a shame Ramis didn't go further with De Niro's reincarnation of Tony from West Side Story. The story itself is a bit uninspired. In order to lead a Syndicate-free life, Vitti devises a plan to rob a federal gold depository truck and frame the city's two rival families. It's a good concept, but it is executed in a just a few scenes in the film's final moments. You get the impression someone came to the ''darn, it's time to wrap the film'' realization three-quarters of the way in. The mob theme also feels unoriginal because HBO has already exploited it to its fullest extent with The Sopranos. Ramis, however, succeeds in making Analyze That an authentic New York-based tale by shooting the film entirely in NYC.

Bottom Line

While very few sequels are able to match or surpass their first counterparts, Analyze That comes pretty close. What it lacks in storytelling, it makes up with great talent and loads of humor.