Movie Magazine International

Nothing To Lose

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Heather Clisby

The title of this predictable and repetitive film explains what must have been going through Tim Robbins mind when he agreed to participate. Perhaps, a sub-head might be 'Actor of Substance Experiences Temporary Insanity.'

Robbins plays Nick, a happily married, successful design engineer who, when faced with the infidelities of his wife, goes for a long, catatonic drive. When he ends up drifting to a seedy neighborhood, he is soon carjacked by Terence, played by Martin Lawrence who really stretches his range as an actor by playing it asÍMartin Lawrence.

Nick's heart is so heavily betrayed, he barely notices Terence, despite the verbal threats and gun-in-ear treatment. Eventually, they end up in Arizona and poof, it's another unlikely mis-matched road movie complete with easy-to-operate guns, a matching set of opposing bad guys and a soft, chewy center of contrived morality.

When Nick turns to a life of crime and ends up being better at it then Terence, we witness the worn-out formula of straight-laced-guy-breaks-free. When we peek into Terence's home life, we get two perfect children, a beautiful loving wife and a caring, if not severe, mother. Do carjackers typically have perfect loving home lives? If so, then I've typecast them all wrong and I apologize.

This film is saved from being a complete waste of time by one nameless character who steals the show ˇ a hapless night watchman with disco king designs handling a flashlight like no one ever seen on film. Mulder and Scully, eat your heart out.

Also, the two characters who harass Terence and Nick on the road, are so funny and charming at being genuinely bad, you wish the film had been originally focused on them. This doesn't bode well for Robbins, who should know better, and Lawrence, who at the very least, is doing what he does best. Trouble is, it isn't much. Richard Pryor he's not.

It's worth mentioning that the audience consisted of so many barking and whooping humans, the management had to adjust the volume twice. Mind you, all this celebration took place before the film was really underway. After that, there wasn't much to holler about.

© 1997 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 7/16/97

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