What's the Worst That Could Happen?

It's just too easy this time. Martin Lawrence, one of the more annoying comedians in a movie titled What's the Worst That Could Happen. Pause for a moment, and think of some play on words with the title. How about this movie? Or, a sequel? Or, another movie by Martin Lawrence? He does have comedic talent, but tends to wallow in exaggerated facial expressions and yelling, which is more dumb than funny. However, like Adam Sandler, Lawrence has his own audience that loves everything he does, regardless of what anybody says. Then, they grow up. It's almost sad to see other, better actors like Danny DeVito, Larry Miller, Bernie Mac, and a seriously off-type William Fichtner suffer under these circumstances.

Kevin Caffrey (Big Momma's House, Blue Streak) is a crook, and a good one at that. He meets Amber Belhaven (Carmen Ejogo, Love's Labour's Lost, The Avengers) and she gives him a ring for their relationship. This is his lucky ring. His friend and frequent partner Berger (John Leguizamo, Moulin Rouge, Titan A.E.) plan to break into millionaire Max Fairbanks' (DeVito, The Virgin Suicides, The Big Kahuna) mansion. Fairbanks is a shady businessman. Sadly, Fairbanks is at home when Berger and Kevin come calling, and Fairbanks ends up taking Kevin's lucky ring. Fairbanks believes it is now his lucky ring, having robbed the robber. It actually takes quite some time to get to this point, and the remainder of the movie consists of Kevin attempting to get his ring back, usually by robbing Fairbanks again.

What's the Worst That Could Happen is just dumb. There are few laughs in the script by Matthew Chapman (Consenting Adults) and Barry Fanaro, and most of them are not by Lawrence. He plays the same character he plays in most of his other movies, and the act is getting old. Instead of coming off as funny, Lawrence almost always appears annoying. He has a mischievous look in his eyes, and a crooked grin, and a nearly continuous stream of lame words coming from his mouth. For every decent joke (remember, there are only a couple) made, Lawrence does something inane, like dressing up and making fun of Arabs. Offensive humor is sometimes mildly redeeming when it is actually funny, but things only reach tedium here.

It does not help that none of the characters are interesting. Caffrey seems smarter than average, but is still too stupid to concoct a decent scheme. Fairbanks is supposedly smart, but is too dumb to avoid a crook. Director Sam Weisman (The Out-of-Towners, George of the Jungle) dumbs everything down just enough to make the tedious situations work. Too bad they never do. What's the Worst That Could Happen just goes on, refusing to end. The ending is so stupid that it deflates any of the momentum the filmmakers wish they had when making it. What's the Worst That Could Happen is pretty close to the worst that could..oh, nevermind.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.

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