King's Ransom [1991]

Anthony Anderson has built a career by creating likable supporting performances in mediocre movies from Urban Legends: Final Cut to Kangaroo Jack to Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. So he probably leapt on King's Ransom as an opportunity to show his star potential, surrounded by a good cast, including Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire), Nicole Parker (Soul Food), Loretta Devine (Woman Thou Art Loosed), and Regina Hall (Scary Movie). Regrettably, all King's Ransom shows is why Anderson ended up in so many mediocre movies in the first place: Poor judgment. This contrived comedy about a business mogul who has himself kidnapped to wriggle out of a divorce settlement--only, what a surprise, his plans go awry and hijinks ensue--is one long series of clumsy, unoriginal, and just unfunny scenes that barely connect into a plot. It's a movie that seems to have been made as a tax write-off. Also featuring Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show) and Donald Faison (Scrubs). --Bret Fetzer

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