If you enjoy Robin Williams showing that not only is he past his prime, but desperately trying to relive his glory days, watch this.
Review (with Spoilers)
I’m not exactly sure what happened to Robin Williams over the years which made him so difficult to watch. Have directors just stopped trying to do their jobs and decided to just let him run amok? Does Williams more so care about getting steady work and a paycheck? Or is it his agent hopes that, like Christopher Walken, Williams will find himself either the silver lining in rather odd, and arguably bad movies, or maybe even luck himself into indie classics? Either way, I don’t know what happened but I’m starting to think he should give up starring in any sort of production and just remain a supporting player.
Characters & Story
The Altman family had gone through a great tragedy two years ago. Henry (Robin Williams) and Bette (Melissa Leo) lost their son Peter. His death leads to Henry hoping his remaining son Tommy (Hamish Linklater) would fill his brother shoes and become a lawyer. But, alas, dancing is Tommy’s dream. So with a dead son, and no possibility of filling the space he left, Henry becomes a bitter man who alienates himself from his wife and the one son he has left.
Leading to the day we meet him which arguably is one of his most terrible days. Not only does he end up in a car accident, but the doctor who sees him, Dr. Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis), informs him that not only has he suffered a brain aneurysm but that he hasn’t much time left to live. Forcing Henry to try to reconcile with everyone as soon as possible before their last memory of him is the man he became and not the man they came to love.
In the film, there are a few moments in which between Williams, Kunis, as well as Peter Dinklage, as Henry’s brother Aaron, you get a handful of laughs. Not many, but a handful. Outside of that, there isn’t much to praise.
One of the big issues of the film, as with most Robin Williams starring productions, is that no one seems willing to reel Williams in so it doesn’t seem like he is a man with dementia. Which is terribly sad because you can tell as he yells and tries to tell jokes like he used to, he is just trying to be the entertainer he once was, but now something is off. When he yells and screams it isn’t comical, but more so like an old man begging to be relevant and stay loved. Then, when it comes to the rest of the cast, while Dinklage does well in his role, everyone else isn’t that funny.
Also, the film has this weird tone to it. For the most part it tries to portray itself as a comedy, but then it makes these erratic shifts, when trying to be serious, and seems to want to come off as a drama. And unlike contemporary comedy films which try to balance funny characters with dramatic situations or transitions in their life, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn fails to use any of the talent in the film to really make this movie compelling in any sense of the word.
Overall: Skip It
I don’t know if Williams is hard up for money and that is why he acts so desperate and crazy during his productions, or if truly there isn’t a script and director which can really hone his talents. Either way, him being a star in a production is increasingly becoming a red flag to me since he truly does seem like a shell of his former self. Hence why this is being labelled “Skip It.” Between Williams acting erratic and without anyone trying to hone his talent, as well as a lackluster script and performance from the cast, I don’t see the point in wasting your money, much less time, on this film.