Playing God

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Crime, Drama, Thriller

A candy-colored tour of the low life through the glassy eyes of disgraced surgeon Eugene Sands (David Duchovny). Sands lost his medical license for taking a scalpel to a patient while under the influence of narcotics; 10 months later he's scoring in the coolest dive in LA when fate steps in and gives him a swift kick in the ass. A man is shot and good samaritan...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A candy-colored tour of the low life through the glassy eyes of disgraced surgeon Eugene Sands (David Duchovny). Sands lost his medical license for taking a scalpel to a patient while under the influence of narcotics; 10 months later he's scoring in

the coolest dive in LA when fate steps in and gives him a swift kick in the ass. A man is shot and good samaritan Sands does a MacGyver with a coat hanger and a seltzer bottle, bringing himself to the attention of sultry Claire (Angelina Jolie) and boyfriend Raymond Blossom (Timothy Hutton), a

fashion-forward gangster who figures a junkie doctor on call is an asset in his line of work. Next thing Sands knows, he's consorting with Estonian gangsters, driving a posh new car and coping with his newfound moral dilemma by not thinking about it too hard. First-time director Andy Wilson has

an eye for the trippy image (as well as a way too liberal hand with the eye-catching shot transitions), and somewhere in Sands' bloody adventures is a lesson about lying down with pigs and smelling like garbage. But it's pretty much lost in the production design: For all the talk of hell and

hitting bottom, things look pretty divinely decadent. Duchovny, whose screen presence is best described as recessive, broods, looks smart but troubled and slips into a swimsuit, perhaps for the benefit of X-philes haunted by memories of the fabled red speedo. Hutton is handicapped by a

surf-punk hairdo and club-kid wardrobe that make him look like an aging rent boy, which may be why his inevitable mad-dog freakout scene doesn't crackle as dangerously as you'd expect.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A candy-colored tour of the low life through the glassy eyes of disgraced surgeon Eugene Sands (David Duchovny). Sands lost his medical license for taking a scalpel to a patient while under the influence of narcotics; 10 months later he's scoring in the c… (more)

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