After 8-year-old Adam is killed in a traffic accident, his grieving parents agree to recreate him through experimental and illegal cloning, conducted by an ingenious but pushy geneticist. After eight happy years, a scary door opens between Adam II and someone from the past.
Directed by: Nick Hamm
. Starring: Greg Kinnear
, Rebecca Romijn
, Robert De Niro
, Cameron Bright
, Merwin Mondesir
, Sava Drayton
, Jake Simons
, Elle Downs
, Edie Inksetter
, Raoul Bhaneja
, Jenny Cooper
, Thomas Chambers
, Munro Chambers
. Music by: Brian Tyler
The idea of cloning has been a hotly controversial subject over the past decade or so, especially once they cloned that damn sheep. It's a tough nut to crack, morally, because life is so precious. A lot of people feel that cloning goes against every ethical and moral code set forth by man and God. Other feel that cloning could be a way to bring back loved ones that were "taken" before their time. Godsend comes into this fiercely debated subject... and says nothing.
The plot of Godsend goes a little something like this. The Duncans, Paul (Kinnear) and Jessie (Romijn-Stamos) tried for so long to have a child that when Adam (Bright) was born, they were sure they would have no other chance at children. Perfectly happy with what they have, they lead a fairly normal life until the day Adam is killed when a car collides into him on the sidewalk. Knowing there's little chance of having another child (and, truthfully, not really wanting one), the Duncans wallow in their own grief. That is, until one day, an old professor of Jessie's, Richard Wells (De Niro) shows ups and says he can bring Adam back to life through cloning. His DNA will be spliced into an egg which will then be artificially inseminated into Jessie's uterus. The child will grow up, identical in every way to Adam. The problems arise once Adam passes the age at which he originally died.
That's a fairly intriguing concept for a movie. It allows the filmmakers to explore the aforementioned ethical, moral and legal issues surrounding cloning. It also allows them the opportunity to touch on what that child would be like. Is he real? Or simply a product of science? And, I'm sure that one day some filmmaker may just do that. But, frankly, what we've got here barely scratches the surface of those topics. Paul brings up the ethical issues once but it's never really discussed again. Instead, the movie uses the plot as a kick-off point for a poor man's The Omen.
The acting doesn't do much to help along the poor script, unfortunately. Kinnear and De Niro aren't necessarily bad but they don't really try to hard to be all that great either. De Niro chews up the scenery like it's chewin' tobacco and is so over-the-top, it's hard to take him seriously as a doctor or a scientist. Kinnear comes off a little better but I knows he capable of more and when the two are on screen together, they're almost laughable. One particular example is a confrontation in a church that had me believing that the movie was actually a cleverly disguised comedy. Oh, the laughs! Let's face it, Romijn-Stamos is a model, not an actress. She was fine as Mystique in the two X-Men movie because the role didn't require much emotion or dialogue, but she's completely lost in this movie. Many of her scenes require her to grieve for her lost child and she's just not very convincing.
But, she deserves an Oscar compared to the work churned out by Cameron Bright. Egad, man! I have no respect for child actors and Bright gives me a good argument for my opinion. I've already mentioned how poor the screenplay is. The pacing sucks and everything flows very awkwardly. Plus, there's no ending. I guess I should blame the director for these problems as well. A good director can take a bad script and make it good. Hamm doesn't even try. Shame on you!
People may be tempted to see this movie because of Robert De Niro. But, I ask you this, "When was the last time he made a good movie?" The answer? Three years ago when he made The Score. And, before that? Ronin, in 1998. It's sad and pathetic when people cling on to actors who are way past their prime. It's like Harrison Ford. He was good once but everything the man touches now-a-days turns to sht. Godsend is awful any way you slice it. Except for maybe a chilling dream sequence about halfway through the movie, this thing has stinker written all over it. It stayed on the shelves for a while for a reason.
Review by Mike Colpitts from the Internet Movie Database.