Godsend (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/06/2004

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Ridiculous, poorly thought-out ?thriller? that only escapes one star ignominy thanks to a couple of ?so bad it?s good? moments.

There?s no doubt that there is a serious, thoughtful, possibly even moving science-fiction film to be made on the subject of cloning. Unsurprisingly, this isn?t it. On previous occasions, Hollywood Cloning Movies have turned into either tedious comedies (Multiplicity) or no-brain action flicks (The 6th Day) and Godsend is no exception, emerging as a frequently ridiculous thriller that owes more to The Omen than anything else.

Ill-Advised Cloning Of Dead Child

Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (who really needs to pick her non-blue-skinned make-up projects more carefully) star as Paul and Jessie Duncan, a couple who are devastated by the loss of their 8 year old son, Adam (Cameron Bright). So, when Doctor Robert DeNiro shows up with the ?potentially immoral? offer of the chance to clone their son, they go through, ooh, literally minutes of hand-wringing before they accept, even though this means moving to Dr DeNiro?s Godsend Clinic in the middle of nowhere.

Sure enough, eight years later (at the point at which Adam Mk I died), Adam Mk II begins to behave a little strangely -not saying goodbye to his friends, playing with an axe, that sort of thing- and the Duncans start to suspect that he might, in fact, be EEEEEEVIL.

Godsend is packed through with so much overblown symbolism and metaphor that it actually comes as something of a shock when no-one makes the Godsend / God?s End observation. There?s also lots of Comedy Foreshadowing, with shots that linger a little too long over The Axe In The Shed and so on. However, the most hilarious moment is the climactic fight in the church, complete with burning Bibles that might as well be emblazoned with the word: ?SYMBOLISM?.

Actors Do Their Best

The actors do their best, given the nature of the material, particularly Cameron Bright who plays both Good Adam and Bad Adam and works wonders with merely a Devil Spawn Haircut as a prop. DeNiro is relatively subdued but he also has a prop to play with: his highly suggestive Balls Of Steel that he fondles in his office, perhaps in reference to Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny. Or perhaps not.

To be fair, the film pulls off its various ?shock? moments quite well, but ultimately it falls apart because of its compulsion to keep the twists coming ? it also loses at least one potentially dramatic set-piece as a result. In addition, the ending is flat-out ridiculous and is more likely to annoy the audience than shock them.

In short, Godsend is for devotees of ?Crap Thrillers? and good ?Bad Movies? only, as the characters behave stupidly enough to illicit several unintentional laughs throughout. However, if it?s an Evil Child movie you?re after, you?re far better off renting The Omen II or trying to track down a copy of The Bad Seed.

Film Trailer

Godsend (15)
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 17:42

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