Championship Ring
What's the Worst that could Happen?
Review by Ross Anthony

An amusing hip-hop version of "Rubber Tree Plant" opens a very stiff first act. In fact, unfortunately, the entire first half lacks almost any type of other amusement. Martin, at a fine art auction, tries to scoot past the belly of a very large rich guy. After two or three tries, he makes the move, but without even a tingle of the funnybone. A scene all too indicative of 50% of this picture.

Martin's a thief who falls instantly in love with a sweet looking lady to whom both the film and he pay little attention. She gives him a very special ring (on their first date). Well, certain complications occur (let them remain mysterious) in which Danny DeVito gets his finger into that ring. How that happens is the most interesting event of the hour; the writer must have known this, because he retells it several times. Danny's a billionaire with financial troubles (go figure), a lot of clout mixed with a lot of problems; but he likes this finger band. From there, the film is a fight for the ring, a man vs. man kind of thing.

Then William Fichtner struts in looking like a graphic off The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" album. He's a flaming bisexual detective - but more importantly, his every accentuation in speech and pose is funny. You'll laugh - it'll be the first time since you sat down. From there, the picture almost amounts to something as interesting side characters (often well-acted) come from all angles escalating the tension from lukewarm to a small-bubbled simmer.

This second half does have its moments. One lady, one dog, a can of pepper-spray - very funny. The domestic-disputing magician couple make a few giggles appear out of thin air. The wife snaps, "I'll never let you saw me in half again!" Danny's security guard consoles him after his mistress (Ms. September) takes off, "Don't worry, there's plenty of other months where she came from." Lastly, a courtroom translator, signing for the deaf, nails the film's only big-hit hysterical scene.

Danny and Martin are both very talented; they just won't make you laugh much with this film.

  • What's the Worst that could Happen?. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, Bernie Mac, John Leguizamo, Glenne Headly, Carmen Ejogo, Laryy Miller, Nora Dunn, Richard Schiff, William Fichtner.
  • Directed by Sam Weisman. Written by Matthew Chapman.
  • Produced by Lawrence Turnman, David Hoberman, Ashok Amritraj, Wendy Dytman at MGM/Hyde Park Ent.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:56 PDT