Nothing to Lose (1997 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nothing to Lose
Theatrical Poster.
Directed bySteve Oedekerk
Produced byMartin Bregman
Dan Jinks
Michael Bregman
Written bySteve Oedekerk
Music byRobert Folk
CinematographyDonald E. Thorin
Edited byMalcolm Campbell
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • July 18, 1997 (1997-07-18) (U.S.)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million
Box office$44.5 million

Nothing to Lose is a 1997 American buddy action comedy film starring Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence. The film was directed by Steve Oedekerk, who also wrote the film and made a cameo appearance as a lip-synching security guard in the film.

The film was released in July 1997 and went on to gross over US$40 million at the box office. The theme song was "If I Had No Loot" by Tony! Toni! Toné!, but it was a remixed version of the song "Not Tonight"—performed by Lil' Kim and featuring Left Eye, Da Brat, Angie Martinez, and Missy Elliott—that garnered the most attention from the soundtrack as it gained much airplay on television and radio and reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The film was shot at various locations in California and New Jersey. The main California locations were Los Angeles—including the U.S. Bank Tower for Nick's office—and Monrovia. The main location in New Jersey was Bloomfield.


Advertising executive Nick Beam (Tim Robbins) thinks his life is going very well, until he returns home from work and finds his wife Ann (Kelly Preston) apparently having an affair with another man. He deduces that the man is his boss, Philip Barlow (Michael McKean), after finding a pair of cufflinks in the kitchen. On the edge of a nervous breakdown, Nick drives around the city until carjacker T. Paul (Martin Lawrence) jumps into his car and attempts to rob him. Turning the tables on his mugger, Nick kidnaps T. Paul and drives him to the Arizona desert. After T. Paul robs a gas station, the pair devise a scheme to rob Philip in revenge for the affair. Nick knows the combination to a safe in his office containing a large amount of cash, as well as the best time to enter, and where not to venture in the building. T. Paul knows the weaknesses of the security system, how to avoid the cameras, and how to get through any electronic locks that they might encounter.

Another criminal duo, Davis "Rig" Lanlow and Charles "Charlie" Dunt (John C. McGinley and Giancarlo Esposito) get blamed for the gas-station robbery and pursue the pair to Los Angeles. The duo ram Nick's truck off the road and hold them at gunpoint. After a brief confrontation, T. Paul manages to disarm them, but accidentally shoots Nick in the arm. They make their escape as T. Paul takes Nick to his apartment so his wife can bandage his arm; while there, Nick peruses T. Paul's electrical engineering certification and a stack of rejection letters from employers. The next night, the pair execute their plan. During the robbery, Nick damages his boss' prize fertility statue and reveals himself to the security camera, taunting his boss about getting revenge. The pair prolongedly avoid a security guard (Steve Oedekerk) and settle at a hotel. The situation worsens as Rig and Charlie, who swiped Nick's business card and followed them from Nick's office to the hotel, hold T. Paul up, steal the money and place T. Paul in a trap for Nick to deal with when he returns from the bar and from almost having sex with Danielle (Rebecca Gayheart), a flower shop woman Nick met earlier.

Nick calls Ann to confront her, but she explains he was wrong about the apparent affair. Nick actually caught Ann's sister and her fiancee in bed when they came into town earlier than expected; having never seen her sister before, Nick mistook her for Ann. Philip's cuff links were left over from a Christmas party and Ann left them out for Nick to return them to Philip. Overcome with remorse, Nick rescues T. Paul from his precarious predicament and they catch up with Rig and Charlie by chasing them into an alley. Nick shoots the gun out of Rig's hand and they leave them tied up for the police. Nick insists on returning the money back to the safe, assuring T. Paul that nobody will bother to look at the tapes unless something is missing or damaged. T. Paul, who had planned on using the money to move his family out of their troubled neighborhood, gets into a fight with Nick and ends their partnership. T. Paul decides to walk home, while Nick drives home and reunites with Ann as he tells her what happened to him.

Returning to his job, Nick is told Philip is reviewing the security tapes to investigate a burglar who vandalized his fertility statue. Nick races to his boss' office but he is too late to stop them, only to discover that the tape was recorded over right before the "burglar" removed his mask, and that a man identifying himself as an electrician was allowed into the building earlier in the day.

Nick goes to see T. Paul and confirms T. Paul recorded over the tape, saving Nick from losing his job. In return, Nick offers T. Paul a job as an electrician/security expert to update and oversee the security system that was just bypassed, which he happily accepts.

In the post-credit scene, a mailman shows up at the gas station in Arizona and returns the money that T. Paul stole.



Critical reception[edit]

Nothing to Lose was met with negative reviews from professional critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 28% of the critics has given the film a positive review based on 25 reviews (7 "Fresh", 18 "Rotten") with an average rating of 5.1/10. Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star gave the film a positive review and stated, "Tim Robbins' understated depression and Martin Lawrence's hyperactive ranting are the perfectly hilarious foil for one another."

Box office[edit]

The film made its debut at #4 at the North American box office, and made $11,617,767 on its opening weekend in 1,862 theaters. Its widest release was 1,888 theaters. During its run, the film made a domestic total of $44,480,039. Its production budget was $25 million.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on July 1, 1997 by Tommy Boy Records. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was certified gold on September 3, 1997.


The credits of the film list Martin Lawrence's character as T. Paul. The character is never called T. Paul by anyone in the film (His name appears on his certificate on the wall). He is called Terrence by his wife and is always called T. by Nick Beam. T. Paul says his friends call him "T.".


External links[edit]