“A script that seems as though it was written with spray paint.”
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn plays like a string of scenes cobbled together with a bunch of famous actors who dropped in on their way to film other, better, movies.
Filled with really pedestrian continuity errors, wildly uneven tonal shifts, music straight out of your worst elevator, and a script that seems as though it was written with spray paint, the film will mark the nadir of many talented career, if it is actually seen by anyone at all.
It’s truly a mystery as to why this film exists in the first place. It’s not as though any of the actors needed the work (the cast list includes starring roles for Academy Award nominees Robin Williams and Melissa Leo, and supporting roles for such busy actors as Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage). Even throwaway roles are filled with such established names as James Earl Jones, and Louis C. K.
All this is under the eye of Phil Alden Robinson, who, despite infecting theaters with the unholy union of Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton in “Rhinstone,” has flirted with greatness in “Field of Dreams” and the underseen “Sneakers.”
The film boasts no fewer than 17 executive producers, which may clue viewers in to just how many chefs were in this overcrowded cinematic kitchen.
Williams plays Henry Altmann, a miserable lout with a laundry list of pet peeves. He wasn’t always this way, as the film begins with essentially the same intro as an earlier, forgettable Williams vehicle, “R.V.” in which he was enjoying the halcyon days of his young family.
A family tragedy apparently tore the fabric of this happy clan and he lives in a shell of self-pity and loathing of life. A routine trip to the doctor’s office reveals that he’s only got a limited time left, as an aneurism plagues his brain (delivered in a sitcom-y format from Kunis’ young medical intern character).
His limited time sends him on a quest to make amends in the most formulaic way possible, with comedic setups void of comedy and dramatic seques free of actual drama. Though Williams is featured in most of the film, he cannot shoulder the bulk of the blame, as Robinson lets each scene unfold in such a sloppy, aimless fashion, it’s rather difficult to understand that in such a packed pool of onscreen talent and off-screen financiers that not one person raised a hand to question just what their purpose was.
All of this leads to a resolution that the film, or its characters, never earn. But it’s rather fitting, because, as an audience, we never care.
Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Rob Rector