Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: The Dream Team (1989)

We begin with four patients of a sanitarium in New Jersey.
There’s Billy (Michael Keaton) who is a pathological liar and prone to violent behaviour. Henry (Christopher Lloyd) who is an obsessive compulsive and thinks he is one of the doctors on staff at the hospital. Jack (Peter Boyle) a former advertising executive who believes he is Jesus Christ. And finally Albert, (Stephen Furst) a man-child with an unusual obsession with baseball, constantly repeating phrases he has heard during games.

Their psychiatrist Dr. Jeff Weitzman (Dennis Boutsikaris) persuades the hospital’s administration to allow him to take them into the city to attend a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, convince that some fresh air and time away from the hospital will do his patients a world of good.

While in city during bathroom stop for Albert, Dr Weitzman witnesses a murder then he is attacked and hospitalized. When our four patients learn that their doctor is going to be murdered, they must each overcome their delusions and work together as a team to save him in time. 

The movie starts off well, we’re introduced to the characters through a session of group therapy which gives us a good insight into each of their personalities. How the four patients interact with each other and their doctor as well as the dialogue is hilarious. The second half is when the plot begins to suffer. I think the idea these four delusional characters out roaming the streets of New York city provides an endless list of possibilities, but the plot of saving their doctor from corrupt police officers is not very creative I think. There are still quite plenty of laughs to be had, how ever it begins to drag and actually gets a little boring up until the end.

Performances all round are decent, Michael Keaton and Christopher Lloyd’s in particular.
A young Lorraine Bracco has a supporting role as Billy’s former love interest. A year later she earned an Oscar nomination for her role in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas.

On a musical note the movie does features some hit songs such as Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles and 80’s hit Walk the Dinosaur by Was Not Was.

Overall I found this to be an entertaining comedy but it does have its draw backs.
The characters are the main reason to keep watching in spite of the unimaginative direction the plot takes later in the film.


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