Combustible Celluloid
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With: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, James Earl Jones, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, Richard Kind, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Sutton Foster, Lee Garlington, Daniel Raymont
Written by: Daniel Taplitz, based on a screenplay by Assi Dayan
Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout and some sexual content
Running Time: 84
Date: 05/23/2014

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Rage Turner

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Amazingly, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is the first film in twelve years by director Phil Alden Robinson, of Field of Dreams and Sneakers. Perhaps even more amazingly is how this welcome return lands with a crashing thud.

Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is really angry. A typical bad day in Brooklyn starts off badly when a cab crashes into his car, but then gets much worse when he goes to the doctor. His regular doctor is out, and a young substitute, Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) -- who has been popping pills to deal with stress -- tells him that he has a brain aneurysm and has only 90 minutes to live.

Henry tries to decide what to do with his final minutes, and realizes what a mess he's made of his relationships with his brother (Peter Dinklage), his wife (Melissa Leo), and his son (Hamish Linklater). When all his plans to put things right fail, he heads toward the Brooklyn Bridge to jump. But Sharon is hot on his trail and hopes to set things right.

The storyline is old and stale, and rather than finding a fresh angle, it feels forced. It feels more as if it's stalling for time than filling itself with humanity and redemption. The actors earn our pity rather than our sympathy. Robin Williams does his very best in his role, but his tantrums and his heartstrings are played off key. Despite having the second-biggest role, Kunis has only a few character traits to work with and generates no depth. In even smaller roles, the rest of the talented actors suffer the same fate.

In general, Robinson fails to find a balance between the dark comedy and the tragedy, and most of the time he settles on a tone that's uncomfortably anxious and frantic.

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