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What's the Worst That Could Happen? Special Edition

Just about every possible bad joke and painful pun related to the title of this misfire of a movie has already been made, so there's no need to belabor the point. Suffice it to say that they all pretty much hit the nail on the head. Aside from a few cheap laughs at the expense of William Fichtner's ultra-fey detective, Alex Tardio, this caper comedy is about as funny as Martin Lawrence's heat exhaustion-induced collapse a couple of years ago. Speaking of the devil...Lawrence stars as Kevin Caffery, a career thief who picks the wrong mark when he decides to rob billionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito). Not only is the theft foiled, but Max makes off with Kevin's lucky ring — a gift from his girlfriend, Amber (Carmen Ejogo). Max's move sets off a battle of wits (for lack of a better term) between the two scoundrels as they try to one-up each other with their plots and schemes. Along for the ride are a surprising number of talented actors, including Fichtner, John Leguizamo, Bernie Mac, Glenne Headly, Nora Dunn, Siobahn Fallon, and Larry Miller. Unfortunately, most are wasted in their one-dimensional supporting roles; the few good lines are spread out so thinly that no one gets more than one or two. Even Lawrence is uncharacteristically tame — half the time he's playing straight man to DeVito and the rest of the gang. Ah well, que sera; at least What's the Worst That Could Happen? is forgettable. In a few years, it'll just be one more box collecting dust in the back of the video store, and the stars will have moved on to bigger and (hopefully) better projects, with no lasting harm done to their careers. Still, MGM seems determined to give the movie a fighting chance on DVD, packaging it with a few extras that might intrigue hapless renters. To start with, the disc boasts two commentary tracks. Unfortunately, one is a rather lackluster joint effort from director Sam Weisman and producer David Hoberman, and the other is a random patchwork of comments and soundbites from most of the supporting cast members (including Mac, DeVito, Fichtner, Ejogo, Dunn, Fallon, and Headly, among others). Flip the disc over for the rest of the features: Eight deleted scenes and a really odd alternate ending, a 24-minute "making-of" featurette, three minutes of outtakes (which mostly consist of DeVito getting on-set phone calls), the trailer, and a video for Erick Sermon's "Music." Both the anamorphic (1.85:1) and full-screen transfers are sharp and clear, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is crisp (other language options include Spanish and French 2.0 tracks, and English, French, and Spanish subtitles). Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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