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Godsend (2004)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: April 22, 2004
Director: Nick Hamm
Writer: Mark Bomback
Producers: Marc Butan, Sean O'Keefe, Cathy Schulman
Actors:
Greg Kinnear as Paul
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Jessie
Robert De Niro as Dr. Wells
Plot:
A boring couple lose their creepy 8-year old child to a freak car accident, and are approached by a weirdo doctor to clone him back through DNA shenanigans. The procedure works but the creepy "new" kid gets even creepier when he turns eight...again. He starts having "night terrors" or some shit, and his parents are confused about what to do next. A lackluster affair ensues.
Critique:
I'm always a lot more disappointed in movies that show great promise, feature a very cool premise and actors that I really dig, which is why it pains me to say that this film really isn't all that good. For a concept so ripe and unlimited as human cloning, you'd think the filmmakers would come up with a lot more interesting turns in a movie that suffers from lack of meat, redundancies, standard characterizations and ultimately, a goofy and unsatisfying ending. Things start off well, with everyone laying the basic groundwork for an intriguing thriller/horror which might even deal with concepts such as identity and memory, but once the film's second act hits, nothing really happens with the child basically going through a series of lame flashbacks and everyone "wondering" what his problem is for about half an hour. Okay...we get it...he's messed up...can we get into some deeper issues now? The film's lack of substance or emotional resonance with the parents (Kinnear and Romijn-Stamos are decent in their roles, but there's no chemistry or depth to them...they're boring) compounds the lack of connection to the story, as well as the film's mood, which despite offering a few decent shots here and there, and eerie atmosphere, leaves you feeling disconnected and empty-much like the town in which the family resides...does anybody else live there? Contrivances and a very standard revelation in the film's final act don't help matters, with very little about any of it either scaring, gripping or affecting me.

Basically, I was bored and other than the one scene featuring Romijn-Stamos in the tiniest underwear since Ripley in the original ALIEN, not much about this stillborn stimulated me. De Niro was also pretty basic, acting with his graying goatee but thankfully giving us a little bit of the ol' "raging bull within" when delivering one of the film's only tasty lines: "What we've done...what weeeeeeeeeee have done!!" You tell 'em, Bobby. The picture's finale was also quite anti-climactic with one ending of sorts leading to another ending of sorts leading to another ending leading to...well, not much. Again, a lot like the rest of the movie...the film's conclusion just left me feeling "blah" and disappointed that not much was done with such a cool foundation. I did appreciate the fact that the director asked Romijn-Stamos to run around in a tight white top during those final scenes though (seems like it was a touch "cold" out as well)-good thinking, dude...might as well jack this movie up somehow! A note to anyone who is planning on cloning their own child in the future though: if you think that keeping pictures of your "original" child in a box in your house is a good idea in the first place-- at the very least, try to put a lock on the damn box or make sure that your freaky new kid won't find it. Other than that, there's not much more to say about this one. Great premise, decent acting, nice score, a few "boo scares", but ultimately very little in terms of entertainment value, originality, depth or thrills. A cheapie video rental at best.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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