Urban Cinefile
"Never tell a story because it's true: tell it because it's a good story."  -John Pentland Mahaffy
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday, October 15, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN

SYNOPSIS:
Burglar Kevin Caffery (Martin Lawrence) and his criminal sidekick Berger (John Leguizamo) break into the house of crooked and philandering millionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito). When Fairbanks surprises Kevin, he turns the tables on the intruder and takes a ring from Kevin's finger belonging to his girlfriend Amber (Carmine Ejogo). A battle of wills follows as Kevin embarks on a crusade to retrieve the ring.

Question: What's the worst that could happen? Answer: Sitting through this stupefyingly awful comedy. Cast and crew probably had a lot of fun on set - pity the paying customers asked to cough up hard-earned cash to witness the pathetic end result. How else can you explain Martin Lawrence being allowed to get away with wild gesticulation and verbal gymnastic party-pieces when it has nothing to do with the plot or even the tone of the rest of the film. Lawrence has proven his ability to connect with large audiences in hits like Big Momma's House and Blue Streak but no amount of goodwill can save him here because his schtick simply doesn't work in such an over-plotted, over-populated attempt at screwball crime farce. Even worse, there's tough-guy actor William Fichtner showing up as a Chicago detective decked out in alligator skin shoes, silk scarf and a platinum wig. He also likes to walk fluffy white pooches while solving crimes. What film is he appearing in? Dirty Rotten Dandies perhaps but not this one. How could anyone have imagined this character would inspire audience hilarity? Fichtner's not the only one with costume embarrassment to bear - wait 'til you get a load of Lawrence and Leguizamo disguised as Arabs. It's high school play time and that's not being generous enough to high school plays. If it's funny we can accept even the most outlandish characters and plots. When it's not, we begin to focus on how dumb all this racket over a silly ring is. In an unusually poor year for comedies this one is scraping hard at the bottom of a very large barrel.
Richard Kuipers

The worst that could happen? Um, having to watch this movie twice. The increasingly unfunny Martin Lawrence teams with Danny DeVito and John Leguizamo for this farcical romp that ends up going exactly nowhere. You only have to watch the ludicrous set-up in the first 15 minutes of the movie to know what you’re in for. In fact, if you’ve seen Blue Streak, you’ll know precisely what you’re in for, because their plots are basically identical. In both, Lawrence plays a jewel thief trying to retrieve an item of value from a seemingly impregnable location. The difference between the two is that Blue Streak at least moved along at a rapid pace, while this exercise bogs down in ludicrous scenarios and ever more desperate attempts by Lawrence to appear funny –which fail miserably. The real calamity of this movie though is that actors with real talent should be associated with it. Belying his short stature, Danny DeVito is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the cast, even though lumbered with inane dialogue. John Leguizamo tries hard but his character is purely one-dimensional. And William Fitcher is incredibly cast as an effeminate police officer in a role he’s sure to leave off his resume. Since Blue Streak, Lawrence’s movies have been steadily going downhill (OK, you can argue about Big Momma’s House). Hopefully, What’s the Worst That Could Happen represents the nadir – but on the evidence displayed in this ham-fisted, ill-conceived and generally lame-brained vehicle, I’d doubt it.
David Edwards

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN? (M)
(US)

CAST: Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, John Leguizamo, Glenne Headly

DIRECTOR: Sam Weisman

PRODUCER: Wendy Dytman, Ashok Amritraj

SCRIPT: Matthew Chapman (screenplay) Donald E. Westlake (novel),

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Anastas N. Michos

EDITOR: John Axelrad, Garth Craven, Nicholas Moore

MUSIC: Tyler Bates

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Howard Cummings

RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 22, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: February 13, 2002







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017