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| A professional thief with taste and style gets a tip for an easy heist - which back-fires.
| Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, Carmen Ejogo, John Leguizamo, Bernie Mac
| For all those who love to see Martin Lawrence clowning to the nth degree, "Whats The Worst That Could Happen," will be a surprise. Its all about the romantic comedy. Hes still the fool, but less so this time around in this it-takes-a-thief role.
The movie, based upon the pulpy fiction novel of Donald Westlake has Kevin Caffrey (Martin) finding love on a two-way street with Amber Belhaven (Carmen Ejogo from "Sally Hemmings," "Boycott," and "Metro").
Kevin is an upscale con whos thieving manifesto seems to be: steal from the (really) rich to avoid being poor. Theres nothing he loves more than targeting a business or house, then, doing the heisttaking it for all its worth including pictures, jewelry or clothes (even shoes!). Hes at an auction to swipe a valuable painting when notices Amber who appears to be despondent. He decides to push up on her.
Its this scene that tells us that Martin will be toned down for this film. For Martin fans, its like: "Oh, my goo-o-o-o-o-dness! Hes punked out." But dont hate him because the moment is sweet and romantic, damn it!
Obviously, the shorthand of the movie is this: Kevin is smitten, they do the nasty and Kevin quits stealing. Part of his obligation to true love comes from a ring that Amber gives him, telling him that her father had given it to her. She tells him to never remove it from his finger.
However, goaded by his Uncle Jack (Bernie Mac) who runs a restaurant that doubles as both a front for laundering money and fencing stolen goods, Kevin is convinced to do another job with his partner, Berger (John Leguizamo from "Spic-O-Rama," To Wong Foo
The target is the estate of imperialistic billionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito), a ruthless, conniving, unfaithful, media mogul who stops at nothing to take over the next television or radio station.
Cut to Kevin and Berger inside the home of Maxs elegant, secluded beachfront mansion. Neither of them realize that Max is at home engaging himself in illicit sex with Miss September a.k.a. Tracy Kimberly (Sascha Knopf). The result is Max busts Kevin in the act, calls the cops and right before they wheel him away, he snatches the coveted ring from Kevins finger. However, Kevin escapes and drags his butt home to face the ire of Amber.
All this sets up the gist of the movie: a battle between Kevin and Max over who gets to keep the ring. In some ways, Whats The Worst brings to mind the revenge humor of War of the Roses, without the meanness. Martin is obviously seeking newer directions (you can only be the complete fool so many times before it wears thin, especially at the box office).
But lets jus say this film will serve as a test of Martin as romantic lothario or loser. It may well be that his fans just love him not when hes trying to get all gushy but only when "he so crazy!"