Not as bad as it could have been, but nowhere near as good as it should have been, given the stellar comic cast. Loosely based on the novel by Donald E. Westlake, one in the popular Dortmunder series, the film revolves around professional thief Kevin Caffrey (Martin Lawrence), a man who regularly visits estate auctions to bone up on the going rates for objets d'art. He and his frequent partner in crime, Berger (the sorely underused John Leguizamo) break into the home of ruthless millionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito), only to be caught by the police. Max goes so far as to relieve Caffrey of his own ring, taking great pleasure in stealing from a thief. The battle lines are drawn: The ring was a gift from Caffrey's girlfriend (Carmen Ejogo) and, of course, his pride has been dealt a severe blow. Absurdity ensues, as Kevin and his band of thieves (including the incomparable Bernie Mac, who isn't given nearly enough to do here) make countless attempts to retrieve the bauble while eluding a downright bizarre, dandified detective (William Fichtner). There are traces of a great caper comedy here, but director Sam Weisman doesn't seem to have known whether he was making a follow-up to some of Lawrence's earlier, over-the-top films or a slyly funny caper flick. That said, Lawrence himself coming off the over-the-top success of BIG MAMA'S HOUSE is in fine form; his performance is actually somewhat restrained. There are plenty of belly laughs to be had, but the flawless cast is hampered by bad pacing and a haphazard storyline in which things seem to happen for no discernable reason. Still, among the disconnected scenes are a few that are downright hilarious, and the actors do their best to rise above disjointed material, even as the hackneyed script has them delivering witty banter in one scene and bad jokes about "doggies with gassy tummies" in the next.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Not as bad as it could have been, but nowhere near as good as it should have been, given the stellar comic cast. Loosely based on the novel by Donald E. Westlake, one in the popular Dortmunder series, the film revolves around professional thief Kevin Caffr… (more)