June 2001
Film Review : What's the worst that could happen

by Wilson Morales (New York)

Film Review - What's the worst that could happen

Distributor: MGM
Director: Sam Weisman
Screenwriter: Matthew Chapman
Running Time:  98 minutes
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, John Lequizamo, Bernie Mac, Glenn Headley, Carmen Ejogo, William Fichtner, Nora Dunn

“What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” is the answer to its own question. Martin Lawrence has had a string of good luck the last few years. His last two films, Big Momma’s House and Blue Streak, were hits. Alas, as some would say, “all good things must come to an end”. Lawrence has struck out with this lackluster enterprise. Mixing oil and water is never a good combination. It didn’t work with Tim Robbins in “Nothing To Lose” and it doesn’t work here with Danny DeVito.

Kevin (Martin Lawrence) and Max (Danny DeVito) have made careers out of stealing. Kevin is a professional thief with a taste for the finer things and Max is a billionaire businessman used to getting whatever he wants. When Kevin targets Max as his next target, Max catches him red-handed and has him arrested. While in handcuffs, Max takes Kevin’s good luck ring off his finger. The ring was given to Kevin by his girlfriend Amber (Carmen Ejogo), and so Kevin must do all he can to get it back. With the help of his sidekick Berger (John Leguizamo) and other cohorts, Kevin and Max stage an all-out war to see who has the upper hand. Hence, the title of the film comes forth.

With the exception of the supporting cast, all who are comediennes in their own right and who are actually funnier than the main attraction, this caper comedy is a bore. A film is really low when every race and stereotype are used for jokes, that are not even funny. Even the deaf are expolited. Danny DeVito is funny when casted in a different kind of “black” comedy. Here, he can’t keep up with Lawrence’s humor, which is tamed. This is something Lawrence could sleepwalk through. The subplots in the film are all contrived and in disarray. One minute Max is going bankrupt and in the next minute, he’s being tried by the Senate. With a cast like this, the film could have been a laugh riot experience. Instead, the script leave Lawrence and DeVito to be forceful with the humor and have us wondering if we’re watching a work in progress.

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