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A new comedy gives the black hustler a cleaner image as he duals with millionaire Max Fairbanks (Danny Devito) in What's The Worst That Could Happen? Martin Lawrence plays Kevin Caffery, the smooth-talking burglar of the more expensive kind, stealing artworks, jewellery and wine after casing the auctions and rubbing shoulders with Boston's richest. When Max double crosses the thief and claims ownership of Kevin's own ring upon his arrest during a robbery, the two become opponents in a mouse does cat game for the prize of the ring.

Lawrence (House Party, House Party 2) is the black to change stereotypes, a robber with the culture and intelligence of middle class blacks. It is the war on racism that charms us with his character until later scenes reveal that his ride on black racism is not a plight but a part of reality. Lines such as golfing like Tiger Woods and revels as a black lawyer show that the seriousness of racism may also be taken light-heartedly. Racism is a theme of What's The Worst That Could Happen? and black, Italian, Greek and Spanish men orientate action in this story as the bad, rich and criminals fight against the law and a camp white detective (William Fichtner).

A distinction is made between the crimes of theft and that of insurance fraud and bankruptcy, or that of the poorer against those evading fines or lying about their wealth to save money. While Kevin and girlfriend are thrown out of their hotel accommodation, they still have to work and pay for an apartment. The fine black girlfriend Amber with a degree in anthropology must waitress and Kevin steals some $16 000 a night. Max the telecommunications and multiple media tycoon and his wife have a number of properties and investments. Riches and style includes multiple designer watches and Moet Chandon wine. Riches allow for the decorating choice of stark white carpet.

This is a polite movie, and while scenes contain partial nudity, there are little action or fight scenes. Language is clean and dual scenes may be compared, with the help of John Leguizamo who plays one of Kevin friends, to the ‘do you bite your thumb at me’ rhetorical scenes of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. An early exchange between Kevin and an art dealer illustrates an attack on racism through education and knowledge, however clouded by the crime of theft.

Females do not rate highly as role models, and even Amber, with finished speech and a degree, relies on Kevin to support her out of a horrible hotel bill and get her fathers artwork back. Many women congregate around Max's money, including his wife, personal assistant and also ditsy Playboy Miss September who slept with Max to become an entertainment reporter in one of his media organisations. While he refuses, thus stating that a female cannot use sex to gain a career, she is later found as a news reporter.