Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director Peter Segal and
Adam Sandler; 4 deleted scenes; 'My Buddy Jack' featurette; 'Skull
Session' featurette; Do You Have Anger Problems? game; Theatrical
trailer; Easter eggs; Gag reel.
JACK Nicholson and Adam Sandler may sound like unlikely bedfellows,
but their partnership provides some great onscreen chemistry (not
to mention fireworks) in the entertaining comedy, Anger Management.
While not as laugh-out-loud funny as either its trailer or poster
campaign suggests, Peter Segals film remains a guilty pleasure,
poking fun at some obvious targets and frequently aiming at the
easy chuckle in every situation, but providing an undemanding
And much of its allure lies in the central pairing, with Nicholson
playing it madder than ever, and Sandlers passive-aggressive
gradually building to the moment he unleashes his trademark fury
- just as he did to equally winning effect in this years
Sandler stars as mild-mannered Dave Buznik, who is ordered to
attend some aggressive anger management therapy, after an hilarious
misunderstanding aboard an airplane.
Unfortunately, his counsellor is the unorthodox Doctor Buddy
Rydell (Nicholson), who seems in need of his own medicine, and
who subsequently moves in with Buznik in an attempt to confront
his inner demons, but instead pushes him to the brink of madness
Buznik suffers from implosive anger and a fear of public displays
of affection, stemming from a childhood humiliation, but as Rydell
pushes him to the limits, by turning his life upside down and
threatening his relationship with his girlfriend, Linda (Marisa
Tomei), he is forced to decide whether to continue accepting his
hardship, or finally make a stand for himself.
And while the outcome is never really in doubt, there is plenty
of fun to be had in arriving there, with Nicholson and Sandler
forming an excellent oddball partnership.
As part of his therapy, Buznik is asked to avoid angry music,
such as The Carpenters, becomes teamed with an equally-aggressive
anger ally - in the form of John Turturros hilariously
insecure Chuck - and confront his past tormentors by pummelling
the hell out of a Buddhist monk - not to mention singing the Bernstein/Sondheim
number, Im So Pretty, in the middle of Brooklyn
Bridge, at the height of the morning rush hour.
Aside from the central pairing between the two leads, Anger Management
also provides a strong support cast and a whole host of cameos,
ranging from Heather Graham and Woody Harrelson (in drag) to John
McEnroe and former New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani - all of whom
serve to keep things lively.
Its just a shame that Segals movie cant sustain
the momentum throughout and drifts into the type of mawkish sentimentality
that besets so many of Sandlers Happy Madison films - with
the final scene, in particular, feeling unnecessary and tacked
Those expecting a full-on, 90-minute laugh-athon may also feel
a little short-changed, as it is safe to say that the best bits
are in the trailer, but that shouldnt detract from a suitably
wicked comedy that showcases two stars at the peak of their form.
Jack, in particular, seems to be having a hyperactive blast,
and his energy transfers well to the audience.