Film Scouts Reviews

"Nothing to Lose"

by Karen Jaehne

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The great thing about "Nothing to Lose" is that it doesn't try to cover up its own ridiculous nature. The plot is highly contrived, over-the-top, and riddled with stereotypes, but at least it makes little attempt to appear otherwise. This film goes all the way. Teaming up two of the most unlikely people to appear on-screen together, Tim Robbins plays the (white guy) executive who is carjacked by, of course, a black guy, (Martin Lawrence) on the proverbial wrong day (which began with finding his boss in bed with his wife). Taking their adolescence-inspired aggessions out on each other eventually permits the two to achieve a touching degree of cross-racial male bonding, and the film follows the frolicsome fellows on the most unlikely of adventures.

In the breaking-down-of-racial-stereotypes category, "Nothing to Lose" has little to offer, as its story seems driven by one thing: the difference between stereotypical black and white behavior, with Robbins the straight white guy and Lawrence the crazy black dude (in case you were wondering). As to be predicted, the supposedly "white" values triumph in the end, and order is restored with the addition of a reformed black man to the corporate ladder.

Not every film can change the world; these flaws are minor. "Nothing to Lose" kicks butt. It's an unabashed good time, and may even be my favorite film of the summer.

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