With a little less than three weeks before summer officially starts, Martin Lawrence and Danny Devito’s new movie “What’s the Worst that Could Happen” takes its place beside “Shrek” as one of the funniest movies of the season.
Going into the film, I figured that it would have the same formula as Lawrence’s other movies such as “Blue Streak” and “Big Mama’s House,” yet this movie was different in several ways. In the past, Lawrence took on the entire burden of using his comic skills to entertain audiences, but in “What’s the Worst that Could Happen,” directed by Sam Weisman, he has Danny Devito and a cast full of comedians to help him.
Devito plays Max Fairbanks, who is an incredibly wealthy but corrupt businessman who would sell his soul if it meant not going bankrupt. Among the comedians that star alongside Lawrence and Devito are Bernie Mac, who stars as Uncle Jack Caffry, and Ana Gasteyer, who plays Ann Marie.
At times, it seems that Lawrence has been typecast as an undercover police officer or a thief — this time, he is a thief. However, Lawrence stars as Kevin Caffrey, a thief who falls in love with a woman named Amber, played by the scintillating Carmen Ejogo, thereby differing this character from his other thief roles.
The plot of this movie is fairly simple — Kevin and Berger, played by John Leguizamo, decide to rob Max’s beach house after reading in the newspaper that Max is barred from the house. The robbery is botched by Max’s presence in the house, who is there doing what his wife Lutetia, played by Nora Dunn, refers to as “scandals and diseases.”
When the police come to take Kevin away, Max steals a ring from Kevin that was given to him by his girlfriend. This robbery of a robber starts an all-out hysterical war between Max and Kevin that involves a demonstration of the great technology now available and the most profane Senate hearings ever to be broadcastj on C-SPAN.
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Moviegoers should pay close attention to Lawrence’s eyes and the hand gestures of a sign language translator who appears during the Senate hearings.
All in all, having seen all of Lawrence’s other films, I would say that this is perhaps his funniest one to date. Lawrence truly shows his abilities of physical comedy and his supporting cast is incredibly strong, thereby adding strength to not only his own performance, but to the movie as a whole.