Friday, October 9, 2015

Playing God (1997)

Directed by: Andy Wilson
Runtime: 94 minutes

Today's entry has crime, improvised surgery, Russian mobsters, counterfeit goods that are spoken of and barely seen, and David Duchovny playing a sarcastic loner with drug problem. Though I am at a loss as to why it is not better known or why it is rated so low on movie sites.

The story revolves around Doctor Eugene Sands, a skilled surgeon who killed a patient due to fatigue and self medicating. Eleven months later,  he is unemployed and still abusing drugs.  While in a club buying drugs he witnesses a someone being gunned down.  So Eugene breaks the law and saves the guy's life. This brings Eugene to the attention of Ray Blossom. Ray deals in counterfeit goods, is in the process of screwing over his Russian business partners, and really wants to be Eugene's friend.

While Eugene is glad to be back doing what he was passionate about, Ray's criminal business plans are not going as well as he hoped. Ray has been setting up a deal with a corrupt Chinese government official and has left his Russian mob connections out of the deal. This leads to both sides shooting at each other and Eugene to be brought in to patch up the wounded. The other compilation is Claire, she is Ray's girlfriend and has a few issues with Eugene. Mostly she issues with his drug use and that Eugene is a screw up just looking for another way to screw up some more.

Eugene has second thoughts about being a on call mob doctor when he gets sent to patch up someone. Turns out the guy bleed to death over night and his friends want Eugene to "fix him". Eugene leaves after trying to explain that bad medical dramas are not a substitute for real medical advice. He also gets packed and is getting ready to leave Los Angeles, but the F.B.I. agent who broke into Eugene's house has other ideas. Eugene is given a choice, be a government informant or spend the next twenty years in jail for practicing medicine without a license, drug possession, and assaulting F.B.I. agent.

This is an action film without the lead being able awesome at everything and leaving a pile of bodies in his wake. Instead it is action film with a slow plot, people who act like real people, compilations of crime in the modern era, and a lot of dark humor.  Over all a fun, strange film in the crime genre that has aged fairly well. I have no problem recommending this movie for rental or streaming.

MVT: The scene with the surfer gunmen that want Eugene to fix their dead friend.

Make or Break: David Duchovny's narration in this film that ranges from dead pan and funny to annoying and needless.

Score: 7.85 out of 10

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