5.6/10
6,854
48 user 36 critic

Playing God (1997)

When he loses his job, a famed surgeon abandons his former life and enters the criminal underworld as a gunshot doctor for criminals.

Director:

Andy Wilson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Duchovny ... Dr. Eugene Sands
Timothy Hutton ... Raymond Blossom
Angelina Jolie ... Claire
Michael Massee ... Gage
Peter Stormare ... Vladimir
Andrew Tiernan ... Cyril
Gary Dourdan ... Yates
John Hawkes ... Flick
Will Stewart ... Perry
Philip Moon ... Casey
Pasha D. Lychnikoff ... Andrei (as Pavel D. Lynchnikoff)
Tracey Walter ... Jim
Sandra Kinder ... Sue
Bill Rosier Bill Rosier ... Jerry
Keone Young ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

17 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Playing Hero See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,937,374, 19 October 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,052,347, 9 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Beforing entering the building where the meeting with the "China Men" was to take place, Claire's hair is parted to the left. In the elevator it's parted to the right. When walking down the hallway after exiting the elevator, it is again parted to the left. See more »

Quotes

Eugene: I don't know what I'm doing here.
Claire: You're dancing.
Eugene: That's a matter of opinion.
See more »


Soundtracks

Anything
Written by The Angel (as Angel C) and Angie Hart
Performed by The Angel featuring Angie Hart
Courtesy of Supa Crucial Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

Could have been better
21 December 2003 | by bob the mooSee 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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