Playing God

The only, though incredibly small, reason to see Playing God is to see David Duchovny portray a character that is not Fox Mulder from FOX’s popular series “The X-Files.” I’m a big “X-Files” fan so I ran out and saw Playing God because it stars David Duchovny. Was I disappointed?

Eugene Sands (David Duchovny) is a heavy drug user. He was a doctor till he lost his license; he lost his license after he killed one of his patients while operating under the influence of drugs. Everyday Sands misses the opportunity and joy of operating on people and saving their lives. He regrets losing his license but is unable to kick his drug habit. One night, on a routine trip to a club to buy his drugs, Sands saves a gunshot victim. The victim turns out to be a member of a gang that is headed up by Raymond Blossom (Timothy Hutton). Blossom’s girlfriend, Claire (Angelina Jolie), also witnesses this incident.

Blossom ventures to hire Sands as a “private surgeon” of sorts because he does not want to send his gang members or friends to the hospital in fear of the hospital reporting gun shot wounds to the police. Sands is initially hesitant, but the draw of being able to operate and save lives is too much for him, and he joins up with Blossom.

This takes place in the first forty-five minutes of the film, and is actually pretty interesting. The later forty-five minutes though gets done ala the standard Hollywood action style, lots of guns going off and a very long car chase. And this is one of the downfalls of Playing God.

The script is another downfall of Playing God. The lines are laughable, even when they are not meant to be so. The script is filled with mediocre and lack luster dialogue that feels like it was taken straight out of your standard made-for-TV-movie.

The performances are decent; Duchovny does well, but nothing really new here. Jolie has big lips and has little screen time. Hutton goes over the top as Blossom and it does work sometimes, but his character, as a whole was unbelievable.

Playing God is at best a made-for-TV-movie. There is not a good reason to recommend this film unless you are a fan of “The X-Files”, and even then, the film sorely disappointed me. The film runs just a little over 90 minutes, but it seems like it ran over two hours. This is a film to miss on the big screen and maybe even a film to miss on video.


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