Nothing to Lose Review

Nick Beam's life couldn't get any worse. He discovers he has been living a lie and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So when T. Paul, a carjacker, attempts to rob him, it is the last straw for Nick. With everything to gain and nothing to lose, he kidnaps T. Paul and attempts to put his life back together.

by Caroline Westbrook |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1997

Running Time:

101 minutes



Original Title:

Nothing to Lose

Even before the opening credits are over, it's apparent just how dated this limp action comedy really is. With its quickfire humour (largely unfunny), knockabout stunts (hardly edge-of-seat-stuff) and the chemistry-free pairing of Robbins and Lawrence, it looks for all the world like a glossy star vehicle which might have been penned for Eddie Murphy in the mid 80s. A decade on, however, it comes across as a very pale imitation indeed.

Ad exec Nick Beam (Robbins) has an enviable lifestyle, thanks to his high¬flying job and adoring wife Anne (Preston). Until, that is, he discovers her getting horizontal with his boss (Michael McKean), legs it across the city in shock, and is promptly carjacked by petty thief T (Lawrence). Rather than surrender, though, Beam's anger forces him to turn the tables on his attacker, kidnapping him and roping him into an ingenious revenge scheme.

Cue a barrage of road movie antics; holding up gas stations, defying security systems, and dodging a couple of crooks who happen to bear a certain resemblance to the pair (setting up a potential gag which is never used) — all of which would have been far funnier if the humour was not so Americanised. While the loquacious crims and none-too-bright-hicks may cause shrieks of hysteria in the Midwest, it's hard to imagine anyone overseas understanding the bulk of the one-liners.

Oedekerk, he of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, does Lawrence as few favours as he did Jim Carrey, the actor's sub-Murphy schtick proving so irritating that it's almost a relief when he is eventually duffed up. Robbins emerges with some dignity intact, playing the nice-but-dim card for the umpteenth time and providing enough bright spots to stop the audience from nodding off.

With a lame script, a smattering of comic moments, and a subplot which defies description, the only real consolation is that this debacle will soon be forgotten on its inevitably rapid trip to video.
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