Nothing to Lose (1997)
Although writer/director Steve Oedekerk and star Tim Robbins both were at the height of their careers at the time this film went into production – Oedekerk coming from a great success with Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Robbins just fresh off from starring in The Hudsucker Proxy and The Shawshank Redemption, as well as directing the brilliant Dead Man Walking – there's not much sign of the quality of the aforementioned films in Nothing to Lose. In short, Oedekerk's material is too slight, silly and banally well-meaning, making Tim Robbins as uninspired as only a script of this calibre can make him. At the time of release, Robbins and co-star Martin Lawrence were hailed for their collaboration, but calling Nothing to Lose a great buddy movie is an insult to this once flourishing sub-genre. Whatever chemistry they strike up is purely academical. They watch each other deliver their lines with gullible amusement, but there is no real connection, no nerve between them. And with a setup as contrived as this one (rich white man down on his luck rediscovers his true self after being faced with poor black man's situation), Oedekerk is in dire need of more hilarious comedy or more heartfelt drama in order to create something other than a mediocre (and already oddly dated) time-killer.