The Hippocratic Oath all doctors take is simple: “First, do no harm.” Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) throws that ideal out the window when a young woman named Diane Nixon (Riley Keough) comes under his care. After getting treated like a nobody by his fellow doctors and disrespected by nurses he feels are beneath him, Diane is the first person who appreciates what Martin does and makes him feel special. As he treats her, Martin becomes obsessed with Diane, going so far as to alter her medication to keep her sick. As Martin’s obsession grows, his actions become more and more drastic.
This is supposed to be a dark thriller, and I suppose it is from a script standpoint. The Good Doctor has a decent (if slightly over-used) plot of girl-meets-stalker, with the interesting twist of the stalker being her attending physician. It could have been a good suspense movie like Kiss the Girls with the whole “I’m going to keep the girl I’m obsessed with close to me” vibe had someone given the cast some espresso to wake them up before the cameras started rolling.
However, it seems like the entire cast is sleepwalking through this film. Orlando Bloom is a good actor (just look at his work in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Kingdom of Heaven), and I know he can emote, but it’s as if someone froze his face with Botox while the cameras were rolling. He delivers all his lines with the excitement of vanilla ice cream. In fact, this whole movie is vanilla. From the acting to the scenery and costumes, everything is bland, boring and sterile.
Riley Keough is cute, but isn’t a good enough actress to act from a bed, so her character is reduced to a talking set piece. Even Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but also great on CBS’s Person of Interest) phones it in here, reciting her lines like a robot while looking like she’d rather be anywhere else. Her cranky head nurse character comes across as bored as the actress playing her. Michael Peña (Tower Heist, End of Watch) is the only one who has decided to act in this whole film. His portrayal of Jimmy the orderly is the only bright spot — literally; check out his scrubs — in the film.
Director Lance Daly likes to make crazy jump cuts between scenes that really make no sense and don’t seem to have relevance. One minute we’re watching Dr. Blake making rounds, then he’s at home alone, and then back to the hospital arguing with the nurses.
I’m not sure what the director’s going for, but it’s confusing.
The Good Doctor is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The 1080p image is achieved with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average of 18mbps. This movie is hard to watch, because everything is SO white, with many of the white objects blurring into each other. There’s one point where it looks like Bloom’s hand is floating by itself because his lab coat blends into the wall. The whole film has a washed-out feel. This may be a directorial decision, and, if it was, it was the wrong one. The only really good-looking scenes are the wide scenery shots, including the city of Los Angeles or the beach where Dr. Blake’s house is located.
This movie has a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. There’s really nothing good or bad about it, since there’s music at only one point in the entire movie. Just like with the video, the whole film feels muted, with the majority of the sound coming from the dialogue. For a supposedly busy hospital in L.A., there are barely any machines beeping or making noise (except when called for by the script) and no background hustle and bustle, even when Dr. Blake and Jimmy are walking through the cafeteria. I suggest watching it with subtitles because Bloom and Keough like to mumble their lines.
Making of The Good Doctor (9:54): The cast talks about why they were drawn to the movie and how much they enjoyed making it. Bloom and the director keep talking about Dr. Blake’s “need to connect”, but that must have been edited out of the film, because I never saw it.
AXS TV: A Look at The Good Doctor (4:47): This is a shorter version of the “Making Of” featurette. It’s redundant and unnecessary.
Orlando Bloom may play The Good Doctor, but this isn’t a good movie. Thrillers are supposed to be tense and full of intrigue, and this movie is neither. Bloom is unimpressive as the obsessive doctor, failing to inspire fear or even revulsion, just a mild yawn. If you’re having trouble sleeping, pop this movie in and it’ll put you right to sleep. Unless you’re desperate to own every movie Orlando Bloom has been in, I’d pass on this one.