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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.11%
Worth A Look: 29.73%
Average: 5.41%
Pretty Bad: 10.81%
Total Crap45.95%

3 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Playing God
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by Scott Weinberg

"Brain-damaged comedy that was marketed as action/drama."
1 stars

You have to see this one to believe it. Rarely have modern movies caused me to giggle out loud and snort after almost every scene. Scenes barely connect, plot threads vanish, actors cringe. Some really stupid plot twists display a real lack of creativity and it is just plain old slap-in-the-face DUMB.

David Duchovny, who graduated from the Bill Bixby school of acting, plays arrogant Dr. Sands, who loses his license to practice medicine. We are shown how in one of the most moronic flashback scenes ever filmed. (He starts out saying things like "I am the perfect doctor" and "Give me a patient I can't cure", and the next thing you know he's knee-deep in the blood of his NEXT patient.) Turns out Doc is a pill-popper and he killed his patient and he is fired.

Next thing we know, he's saving the life of some low-life criminal. Raymond, the local crime boss guy (Timothy Hutton, apparently trying to convince people that he's never acted a day in his life) is grateful to Doctor P.Popper and gives him large monies. Luckily for everyone (except you, if you're watching this), people begin getting mutilated (in like 3 consecutive scenes) and the Doc finds steady work. There's also Raymond's girl, played by a surprisingly chunky Angelina Jolie. Predictable plot-type things transpire, leading nowhere. There's a whole bunch of familiar "will the stoned doctor betray his new criminal slimebag buddies to the equally sleazy cops?" stuff, and I was bored.

Regarding the performances in this sloppy waste:

David Duchovny: Under-emotes so much that he definitely belongs on the small screen. (The smaller the better.) His performance here is scarily uniform. His monotone voice pours out of his emotionless face and we are left to decide if he's being sincere, sarcastic, horny or whatever. Plus he's a nerd.

Timothy Hutton: Further proof that even the most reliable and likable actors is prone to fall in to the "What movie am I in?" trap, and writhe and humiliate himself while we watch, transfixed. I swear to God, it seems like he's doing a Matthew Lillard impression the whole movie! If you ever see this 3AM cable-dweller, you'll see what I mean. The worst performance I've seen in a long time. It's incredible.

Angelina Jolie: Relative to today, she's pretty durn chunky. Yeah, she still has the lips and all but she has nothing sexy to do in this movie, unless you consider getting shot and puking blood everywhere sexy. (Hey, to each his own.) She gives the best performance of the three, although that is like saying that Curly was the most realistic of The Three Stooges.

One quick word about the direction: Bad. Hey, just because you give a tripod a name, that doesn't make it a director.

A few HILARIOUS scenes stand out, and I sincerely began thinking that Playing God is indeed a comedy. It was just marketed wrong. There's a scene when Sands is called upon to heal a surfer guy who has a hatchet sticking out of his chest, while these freaky longhairs are waving guns in his face while screaming "Fix him! Fix him!"

The highlight, however, is when Dr. Moron brings an injured Claire into this dinky little bar and all the Hell's Angels and chubby barmaids all pitch in to help in an impromptu surgery. This was approaching South Park-style hilarity. ("Tap your feet in rhythm with her heart!!!") Playing God is just an all-around lame-ass and sloppy effort. Go rent Seven or something, you pathetic movie freak.

A real curiousity, in that most films with poor acting, pathetic direction, and a plot that moves slower than a salty slug generally don't get theatrical releases. Thespian David Duchovny is SO desperate to break out of the Mulder character, he has a contract promising him more roles in exchange for appearing in further X-Files movies. They can't get much worse than this.

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originally posted: 11/27/99 12:23:54
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User Comments

12/24/07 Dennis I somehow really like this movie - and the role Duchovny plays. Meh, whatever ^^ 4 stars
5/31/07 conrad l GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE 5 stars
1/20/07 johnnyfog Saw it just because I was curious to see Jolie chunky. Big mistake 2 stars
3/12/06 Chuck Makes Pulp Fiction look like z-grade rubbish. Its an instant Classic. 5 stars
8/26/03 alantrei A fresh feel. Hutton is great. Jolie is chunky. 4 stars
6/23/03 Jack Sommersby Decent opening gives way to utter banality. Dial-Tone Duchovny doesn't help. 2 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Jolie is NOT a good actress at all - She has a look and thats all 2 stars
2/09/01 Sully excellent concept........horseshit execution......completely missable 2 stars
7/01/00 Dana Scully Playing God, SUCKS... you might aswell turn the sound down and gawk at Duchovny or Angelina 1 stars
11/28/99 Joel Harwood fuckin sick 5 stars
1/24/99 donkey_dew I thought it was rather good. Rock on. 4 stars
12/08/98 Binky This dude from texhoma can't hide the truth. It was a piece of shit. 1 stars
9/13/98 HardtoPlease DD was excellent...too his ideas about what the film should be were ignored 4 stars
9/13/98 loriann its a good movie 4 stars
9/12/98 daisy5150 Don't blame David Duchovny. The film screenplay was crumby; Great actor, stupid plot 3 stars
9/12/98 PeeJay I was embarrassed for Duchovny.The script was lame, but not as lame as his 'emoting' 1 stars
9/11/98 LuvPat Dave did an excellent acting job in a poorly edited film 3 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee Screaming white death to Agent Mulder. He's just terrible. 1 stars
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  17-Oct-1997 (R)


  16-Jul-1998 (MA)

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