Orlando Bloom as a nasty physician is a good idea, but as a whole, this one falters....
Magnolia / 93 Minutes / 2011 / Rated PG-13 / Street Date: December 18, 2012
The Good Doctor lives and dies by the efforts of our favorite Elf warrior, Orlando Bloom. I'm sure the actor would wince reading an introduction like that, but facts are facts: regardless of his talents, in the post-2000 world, Bloom is a movie star first and an actor second, and we as consumers of his output can't divorce ourselves from this.
And in The Good Doctor, Bloom tries to switch things up a bit by playing a bad guy, which is - at least on paper - a good idea. Nothing juggles an iconic cinema nature like an out-of-left-field character presentation, and the idea of Bloom trading in his esteemed LOTR chops for shifty unease has the potential to work like gangbusters
The thing is, though, that The Good Doctor flatlines as a story. In it, Bloom plays Martin Blake, a doctor doing his residency in sunny California. Nobody really likes the guy - he's kind of aloof and unapproachable - but when he comes across the loves Diane (Riley Keough), everything changes. He treats her and the two start to forge a connection together, but when Diane's condition starts to improve, Blake can't handle it, and he switches her prescriptions to placebos so she'll come back to his hospital. Uh-oh.
Yet while this sort of well-meaning deviousness has the bite of dark, moody drama, in The Good Doctor, nothing adds up to all that much. When certain situations align and Bloom is allowed to sink his teeth into his character's more brooding and complicated facets, the movie starts to bubble to life, but this doesn't happen often. The Good Doctor is little more than a missed opportunity, a film that is neither as black-hearted nor as fun to watch as it should be.