What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Directed by Sam Weisman
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, John Leguizamo, Glenne Headly, Carmen Ejogo, Bernie Mac.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual content.

Review by Eugene Kopman <eugene@filmhead.com>
June 13, 2001

What a perfect name for this movie. The producers probably wanted the audience to answer the question of the movie. What IS the worst that could happen? Here's my answer, "Me seeing that movie again and paying a matinee price of $5.75 for it." Yes, I saw the cheap show and it was still a waste of time and money.

Martin Lawrence plays Kevin Caffrey, a professional thief, who while doing "research" at an auction meets Amber (Carmen Ejogo), who is selling a family painting to pay rent. Kevin steals the painting back and a romance blooms between the two. Amber even gives Kevin her father's "lucky" ring, which Kevin vowed to guard with his life.

On the other side of the story, we have Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito), the richest man in Chicago. The problem arises when one of Max's real estate companies goes bankrupt and he is court ordered from one of his beach houses.

Kevin's friend Berger (John Leguizamo) informs him that Max's house will be empty and is easy picking. But what Kevin and Berger didn't know was that Max disobeyed the court order and was spending quality time there with Miss September (Sascha Knopf). Max catches Kevin while trying to rob him. When the police arrive, Max claims that Amber's ring is his and Kevin is forced to give the ring to Max. This starts off a series of failed attempts by Kevin to get his ring back from Max. He ruins Max's life, but Max still refuses to give back the ring.

This might sound interesting, but so did the idea of a small town kid wanting to become an animator in Freddy Got Fingered, and look how that turned out. The biggest problem with this movie was that the two main characters have no chemistry. Martin Lawrence starts up with smart comedy and slowly goes to stupid slapstick. The person whom I found entertaining was John Leguizamo, who now has two movies out: this and Moulin Rouge, and even though Moulin Rouge is a much, much better movie, John does a good job in both.

Note: What happened to the ratings system? The PG-13 rating has lowered its standards. This movie along with a slightly funnier one, Little Nicky both have enough cursing and content to get an R, but the somehow slide with a PG-13. At least PG-13 doesn't show nudity yet, oh wait, it did: Titanic.


For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) -- VHS
What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) -- DVD
What's the Worst That Could Happen?, a novel by Donald Westlake -- Paperback
What's the Worst That Could Happen?, a novel by Donald Westlake -- Audio Cassette
What's the Worst That Could Happen?: Soundtrack (edited) -- Compact Disc
What's the Worst That Could Happen?: Soundtrack (explicit lyrics) -- Compact Disc


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Review © 2001 Eugene Kopman
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