Director: Nick Hamm
Robert De Niro/Richard
A happy couple (Kinnear and Romijn) see their lives go to hell when they’re eight year old tot (Bright) gets acquainted with the front bumper of a moving car and then flatlines. Their hell gets even warmer when Dr. Bobby De Niro and his goatee show up to coax them into having their kid reborn via cloning. Damien extra-extra-extra light, Romijn’s tight white undies and De Niro being De Niro results…
"Godsend" was originally supposed to come out in October 2003, but was pushed back to April 2004 when re-shoots had to take place. Usually, that’s bad news in terms of a movie being top-notch and unfortunately, this was one of those sour times. I personally have a rule that I abide by when writing a screenplay: I always know my ending beforehand. Why? Well, how am I supposed to get anywhere if I don’t know what my final destination is? Now I’m not saying that’s the only way to go about it, but it’s my process and it makes sense to me. In this film's case, it sure felt like it was pulling a “Mr. Magoo” as to where it was going. I found this quote from the director that might explain a few things:
“It doesn't make the movie worse or better because you shot a bunch of different endings over a period of time as you were cutting it. We never really shot a good ending while I was shooting the picture; I knew there was something wrong and we needed to find one."
I beg to differ there, champ. I'm actually quite sure that lacking a clear ending before the shoot most likely influenced the end result here-- which was a redundant and aimless exercise in missed opportunities. That said, "Godsend" was not an atrociously bad movie...it was just a frequently bland one; think a lazy TV movie of the week. It sadly all started off on the right cell splice with the narrative raising the potent theme of death and the always fascinating question of “what if we could get around it?” For a split second, the fine "Pet Semetary" came to mind in its setup, but once the deed was done and Adam (Adam and Eve…get it?) was reborn, that was that on that. All the best, love and kisses.
This spectacle went on to swiftly hit the redundant and vacuous avenue. The bulk of the narrative basically consisted of a string of “visions” that the kid kept having. Problem was, the “apparitions” rarely raised the stakes of the game throughout and went on to serve up an obvious, poor man’s “mystery” that I solved 40 minutes in with my eyes closed. The last block of the picture didn’t fare much better, with scrawny plot turns forcing the story as to where it had to go and an extended expositional monologue from some left field character (think Oracle from the Matrix flicks) standing in as a satisfying reason for the madness. Man, did that “let me spell it out for ya, dumbo” scene stick out like a sore sailor! Don’t tell me about it in an endless ramble man! This isn’t the stage! SHOW ME BITCH! How lame and sluggish was that? And to make matters worse, the ending that they wound up using was easily one of the most unsatisfying, half-assed and puny cap-offs that I’ve seen in a film all year. It felt like they gave up on finding a way to conclude it all, so they slapped in a cheap boo scare and offered up ZERO closure. Maybe there’s something to be said about having an ending in your script before shooting begins...or maybe I’m just an a-hole...
On the erect side of the membrane, for all of its mediocrity in terms of content, "Godsend" was still a mostly painless watch due to the fine acting in the house. Kinnear and Romijn were easy love birds to get attached to and follow around. They were the main reason as to why I stayed semi-interested in the film all the way through. Robert De Niro was also highly amusing with his “meat and potatoes” performance while the kid (Bright) looked spooky enough to work within the odd circumstance. Coating wise, the somber score hit the spot, giving scenes impact when substance failed while the stylish/atmospheric visuals were, at times, quite effective in their eerie demeanor. I loved Hamm’s style!
All in all, it’s too bad that somebody forgot to take the kool premise that is the cloning of a dead kid far enough for it to be able to stand on its own two Nike’s as a fully fleshed-out movie. This could’ve been something special as opposed to just another “see it and forget it” effort that your parents will most likely love. Thank Zeus all mighty for great casting! CLONE THIS!
Originally expected to have an R-rating, Lions Gate Films trimmed down the goodies to a PG-13 aiming to hit a wider audience. So how much gore was left? None…yeah, you heard me…NONE whatsoever! BAH!
Greg Kinnear (Paul) and Rebecca Romijn (Jessie) did wonders as the loving parents. They were mucho credible and I warmed up to both of them. Robert De Niro (Richard) was awesome as always; spitting out those lines with conviction (“What we’ve done!”)…YOU GO BOBBY!!!!! Cameron Bright (Adam) looked creepy enough and handled himself adequately.
T & A
We get hotter than BBQ chips Rebecca Romijn (she just dumped Stamos’ ass) in her tiny top and undies. The ladies get Greg Kinnear with his shirt opened showing off his flab. Yes, the world is not a fair place. I LOVE BEING A GUY!
Nick Hamm (who directed the solid "The Hole") has a strong eye and he delivered creepy atmosphere and polished dream sequences like a man! He also handled his actors very well...too bad the script wasn’t up to par.
We get a solid and crotch-chilling score by Brian Tyler that often elevated the mundane events to a superior level.
"Godsend" was an un-scary, un-moving opus with a neato basis that didn’t seem to know where to go, so it went nowhere slow and ended on a whimper. Actually, now that I think of it, the whole of "Godsend" could’ve been solved with a Google search and a good spanking. Sure, the film had a slick premise, strong actors that made me care about their characters, an eerie score and able “eye candy” directing, but the content was just too undercooked to make for a fulfilling chow-down. See it for the performers (BOBBY!!!!) or wait for it to hit video and then rent "The Omen" and "Pet Semetary" instead. NEXT IN LINE PLEASE!
This flick was shot in Toronto.
Five endings were shot for the film and word has it that they’ll all wind up on the DVD release.
The script was written by Mark Bomback who also wrote the Shannon Tweed tit-fest “The Night Caller”, co-wrote the upcoming “Constantine” and is set to write "Die Hard 4: Willis Fights his Toupee".
Nick Hamm’s “The Hole” was a much better film...see it or be square.
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos recently broke up with long time beau John Stamos (of Full House infamy) and is now dating horror critic John Fallon (I wish!).