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Review: Robin Williams in The Angriest Man In Brooklyn


Since the tragic death of Robin Williams, like many, I have been revisiting some of the actor's best works. From The World According to Garp up to The Butler - the energetic talent gave us a mix of incredible comic and dramatic performances. However, Williams also left us with a handful of less memorable cinematic fare like Old Dogs, RV and Licence to Wed. Joining the ranks of these latter few is The Angriest Man in Brooklyn which get its UK release this week.

Williams teams up with Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams) for this dramedy which centres on a miserable older man (Williams) who is mistakenly diagnosed with ninety minutes to live by a stressed doctor (Mila Kunis). He sets out to mend his ways, but comes to realise that his previous behaviour has driven those closest to him away.

The Angriest Man In Brooklyn is a bizarre mix tonally - jumping from charming to vitriolic to depressing throughout its sparse eighty minute run time. Daniel Taplitz's screenplay never finds its stride in either genre - too nasty and not quite funny enough to be a comedy, and too lacking in genuine emotion and characterisation to succeed as a drama. It is never clear what Taplitz is trying to say underneath all the stilted melancholic schmaltz of Robinson's film - with no clear sense of redemption or personal change coming across by the conclusion.

There is a coincidental sadness in The Angriest Man In Brooklyn given occasional heartbreaking similarities with the actor's real-life suicide. This results in a somewhat uncomfortable atmosphere when we account William's tragic personal suffering at the time. Williams' usual charisma and energy feel somewhat muted here. He plays the aggressive crank well, but the role lacks any of fun, wise-cracking smarts and likeability of his usual performances - instead we simply see him doing a lot of shouting.

The Angriest Man In Brooklyn should have been a testament to the talents of Robin Williams. However, this tonally awkward romp is lacking in laughs and authentic sentimentality, and ultimately sees its lead star confined to a role which squandered his vast talents.

The Angriest Man In Brooklyn 1390288254432262927
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