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Playing God (1997)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 5,797 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 34 critic

Stripped of his medical license after performing an operation while high on amphetamines, famed LA surgeon Dr Eugene Sands abandons his former life only to find himself crossing paths with ... See full summary »

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Title: Playing God (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cyril
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Yates
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Perry
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Casey
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Andrei (as Pavel D. Lynchnikoff)
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Jim
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Sue
Bill Rosier ...
Jerry
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Mr. Ksi
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Storyline

Stripped of his medical license after performing an operation while high on amphetamines, famed LA surgeon Dr Eugene Sands abandons his former life only to find himself crossing paths with Raymond Blossom, an infamous counterfeiter. Employed as a "gun-shot doctor" when Raymond's associates cannot risk visiting a hospital, Eugene is lured deep into the criminal world and becomes entangled with his boss's girlfriend. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about who you are. It's about life & death. It's about... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, gore, pervasive language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Playing Hero  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,937,374 (USA) (17 October 1997)

Gross:

$4,052,347 (USA) (7 November 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Duchovny plays a doctor asked by a criminal to help his friend. Duchovny says "He's dead." Pointing a gun at Duchovny, the criminal says, "Well, fix him!" Duchovny responds, "I'll see what I can do." Twenty years earlier, in A Bridge Too Far (1977), James Caan plays a soldier who takes a wounded comrade to a field doctor. After the doctor tells him his friend is dead, Caan points a gun at the doctor and insists that he look at his friend. The doctor replies, "I can give him a quick examination if you like." See more »

Goofs

Photographs are being taken at a Lakers game with a digital camera, but we hear the sound of a motor drive. See more »

Quotes

Young Gangster: You gonna kill me?
Eugene: No, but I know where to shoot you so you'll be in diapers for the rest of your life!
See more »


Soundtracks

If the Sea Was Whiskey
Written by Willie Dixon and Leonard Caston
Performed by Willie Dixon & The Big Three Trio
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User Reviews

Could have been better
21 December 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Eugene Sands is a drug addict doctor - although he has long since been barred from practicing medicine having been found operating high, leading to a girl's death. When he is at a club buying he witnesses a shooting and steps in to do enough to save a man's life. The owner of the club and criminal to boot, Raymond Blossom, takes an interest in Eugene and begins using him and his doctor. However the FBI are after Raymond and make moves to use Eugene to trap him.

Coming off as a slightly upmarket video thriller, this film could have been much better but ultimately fails to engage or rise to it's potential. The plot is OK but the script doesn't manage to lift the story up into something that is really strong and engaging. The delivery is a big part of the problem - it isn't that well directed, nothing very wrong but certainly the feel of a video film as opposed to a big screen thriller. The decision to have a voice over narrator is always a gamble; sometimes it works but sometimes it really doesn't.

Here the narration doesn't work for two reasons. First of all, the narrator has to explain or develop so much because the film fails to do it as part of the story being told. To make matters worse Duchovny delivery is so flat that it really sucks any energy out of the film. His actual performance is not as bad as his voiceover but he doesn't exactly manage to lead the film. This leaves the way open for Hutton's villain, but he struggles with a lack of character and eventually gives into overacting. Jolie is good but again suffers from having no character. Regardless of performances, not having any buy in with the main people meant that I wasn't into the story as I needed to be. Support from Massee, Stormare and Dourdan doesn't so much add quality as add familiarity.

Overall this was very much a workmanlike thriller. It is passable but really it is difficult to overlook the fact that the film has major weaknesses in most areas. The plot is good but the script can't do anything with it, the narration is rubbish and the acting is only reasonable on the whole. Worth watching once but it's hard not to feel let down by it.


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