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What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Director:Sam Weisman
Writer:Matthew Chapman
PG-13; 94 minutes
Release:5/01
Cast:Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito

Silly comedies are the fast food of cinema. They lack nutrition but nobody cares—sometimes you need a Jim Carey or a Jackie Chan to hit the spot. Most importantly, though, they resemble fast food in that the comedy must be hot or it turns completely inedible. What's the Worst That Could Happen cools off stars Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito.

The fact that both portray criminals holds together the piecemeal plot. While robbing a house Kevin (Lawrence) and his partner (John Leguizamo) get caught by its wily owner Max (DeVito). Kevin happens to be wearing an heirloom ring given to him by his newfound love interest (Carmen Ejogo). Max tells the cops that this too was stolen and plucks the jewelry from a flabbergasted Kevin. This sets the stage for a clumsily scripted game of criminal tit-for-tat.

Lawrence's popular live wire act isn't used here. Oddly enough, DeVito gets in more illicit zingers than the man behind Big Momma's House. This, for him, is a kind of backsliding. DeVito exudes a sliminess left over from his Taxi days. Minor characters get the tastiest moments in What's the Worst That Could Happen.


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