It’s not often that a sequel surpasses the first film in terms of depth, quality, and entertainment. Sure, there’s The Godfather, Part II, The Empire Strikes Back, and Aliens (to name a few). But it was rather surprising that I found myself enjoying Analyze That more than I enjoyed Analyze This. Robert DeNiro does a nice job as the internally conflicted Paul Vitti, now remanded to the custody of his therapist, Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) after a “nervous breakdown” of sorts. (Look for the very funny Awakenings satire.) But is Vitti out to get revenge, or is he finally going to go straight? All of the “usual suspects” are there, reminding us that “The Sopranos” isn’t the only source of Italian-American stereotypes. However, the idea of casting Aussie Anthony LaPaglia as… and Australian actor playing the lead in “Little Caesar” (a “Sopranos”-like television show within the movie) was a bit of clever casting.
The jokes kept coming, and as a result some were missed because the audience was still laughing – that’s a great sign of an enjoyable film. David Holmes wrote a rather low-key score in the same style he does pretty much everything in, and it does an excellent job supporting the film and allowing us to enjoy the banter between the actors. The storyline is engaging, and the comedic bits will keep you laughing. (The Al Pacino joke cracked me up, but the Air France joke might go over many people’s heads.) Finally, this is a movie I can recommend.