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if you've been following william fichtner's career ( and there's absolutely no reason why you should have ) , you might have noticed that he's played some rather similar roles over the years .
like sully in " the perfect storm " --tough , gruff , and a little bit scary .
or law in " albino alligator " --tough , gruff , and little bit scarier .
or colonel william sharp in " armageddon , " or dwayne engelman in " strange days , " or even his brief appearance towards the beginning of " pearl harbor , " as the abusive father of danny--here is an actor who gravitates towards tough , gruff , hard-hitting roles .
which is why his performance in " what's the worst that could happen ? "
is such a shock , such a delight .
in the film , fichtner plays a blonde haired , meticulously dressed , overtly effeminate , dog-loving detective .
as alex tardio , fichtner's performance borders on caricature but goes beyond it .
it borders on offensive but doesn't really manage it .
and it borders on clich ? d stereotype but doesn't quite succumb to that definition either .
in a role so diametrically opposed to what the actor has played before we should have seen it coming , fichtner isn't perfect--you can see him struggling a little at times , concentrating a little too hard on the look as he swishes his hand through the air , or nuzzles a coiffed canine up close and personal--but he's pretty damned good , and silly , and without question the best thing in the film .
in fact , had it not been for fitchner's sudden and bizarre appearance , and his jarring screen presence thereafter , i would have walked out , for " what's the worst that could happen ? "
is mesmerizing in its awfulness , a poorly written , haphazardly edited , and totally unfunny ( yes , it stars martin lawrence and danny devito so how could that be possible ? )
moviegoing experience .
fichtner's performance doesn't exactly save the film , and it's not like i'm recommending " what's the worst that could happen ? "
solely on the strength of the actor's dramatic turnaround , but his contributions do raise the film's rating from no stars to one-and-a-half .
thumbs up to fichtner then , and thumbs down--way , way , down--to everyone else involved in this sorry mess , a movie so dull and pedestrian and nonsensical it doesn't even warrant discussion .