"What's the Worst That Could
Directed by Sam Weisman.
Written by Matthew Chapman. Based on the book by Donald E.
Starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 6/3/01
I'll tell you what the worst thing that can
happen is--you could pay $8 and see this flaming piece-of-shit film.
Gordon "The Professional" Stokes and I
dropped by my favorite multiplex this afternoon to see this new
Martin Lawrence film, and my-oh-my, I made a mistake. Granted, much
like paying $3 for bottled water or ordering Diet Coke with my
phillysteaks, I have made countless mistakes in the past...but, this
was an egregious error, if ever I have made one.
JUSTIN, WHAT WAS IT, EXACTLY? BAD STORY?
BAD ACTING? NO SEX SCENES?
You know, to be honest, I'm not sure what it
was, exactly. There were talented performers in place: besides
Lawrence, there was Danny Devito, there was Bernie Mac (most
"The Original Kings of Comedy"), there was John Leguizamo. Even the supporting actors--William Fichtner, Nora Dunn,
Glenne Headly--were of name value. The plot was kind of cool—a con
man (Lawrence) is robbing a Boston tycoon (Devito) and gets caught
in the act by said tycoon. Tycoon robs the robber at gunpoint and
takes the thief's lucky ring...and the robber robs the tycoon of his
various riches for the rest of the film, trying in vain to get his
lucky ring back.
But, this comedy--save for Fichtner's
reasonably amusing gay cop, sporting white suits and snakeskin
shoes--is almost totally devoid of laughs. In fact, all of the
scenes that come close WOULD have been funny...except the producers
used them in the trailer! So, Devito's Court TV tirade would have
been pretty funny, if I hadn't already known it was coming. Or
Lawrence & Leguizamo, trying not to trigger laserline alarms. Or
Bernie Mac offering to drive to the next big heist, searching for
his car keys. This seems to always happen, where producers realized
they have a movie dog on their hands and, in a desperate attempt to
sell tickets, rope us in with the only laughs from the film.
And, the romantic angle between the con man
and a beautiful grad student is so hammy, so William Shatner that it
comes off as funny in the wrong way. Lawrence beds the woman in the
movie's third scene and then exclaims how much he is in love with
her, which you don't buy for three seconds. Overacting continues in
the lobby, as Headly (playing Devito's personal assistant, who he is
naturally banging on the side) and Devito get into a huge argument
over playing games with this stupid ring. Even the token computer
geek in this movie gets into the act late in the film, yelling all
of his lines even though he sits not two feet from Lawrence's
character during his scenes. Ugh.
As with all Hard Vice films, avoid this film
at all costs or no costs...EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!!
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard