Film Review: What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)

Release Date: June 1st, 2001
Directed by: Sam Weisman
Written by: Matthew Chapman
Based on: What’s the Worst That Could Happen? by Donald E. Westlake
Music by: Tyler Bates
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, John Leguizamo, Glenne Headly, Carmen Ejogo, Bernie Mac, Larry Miller, Nora Dunn, Richard Schiff, William Fichtner, Ana Gasteyer, GQ

Turman/Morrissey Company, Hyde Park Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 94 Minutes

Review:

“I robbed a thief! How can you not see the humor in that?” – Max Fairbanks

Critics hated this film and very few people remember it. Those that do seem to remember it as being an unfunny dud. Well, I disagree, wholeheartedly.

Both Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito are comedy legends at this point. Hell, they probably were in 2001. Seeing them come together is kind of cool even if critics thought that their styles didn’t mesh well.

Honestly, I think they meshed fine. Did they have great chemistry? No. But it still worked for what this was, which was mindless, funny escapism. Seeing it twenty years later, I think I enjoyed it more, as comedy is dead and I haven’t seen a new movie that’s made me laugh in a long time.

Lawrence and DeVito are also assisted in the comedy department by John Leguizamo, who I thought had really good chemistry with Lawrence. In fact, I kind of wish they worked together more.

The real standout character for me, though, was William Fichtner’s Detective Alex Tardio. My god, did Fichtner just put everything into the role and delivered some incredible, comedic scenes. He’s more known for his dramatic work but he kills it in this and steals every scene he’s in regardless of the fact that he’s sharing the screen with comedy icons.

I also like the premise of the film which sees a thief get his ring stolen by the rich asshole he’s robbing. So this is about getting the ring back, at first, but it escalates into a giant dick waving contest between two determined men trying to one-up each other for an hour and a half.

I can’t say that this film is a comedy classic by any stretch of the imagination but it is an enjoyable way to spend 94 minutes with three guys that always bring the laughs and a few others that step up to the plate to advance the runners around the bases.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: other comedies with Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito or John Leguizamo.