Godsend (2004)

8628“Godsend” starts off well enough. It begins with a concept so controversial that used to be the fodder for science fiction but now has become a startling reality: cloning. It’s an issue that has become the topic of heated debate for the modern age and this film has the ability and chance to comment on such a topic. “Godsend” starts off just right, but it quickly becomes a really awful film with such a ridiculous concept, it’s doesn’t even achieve the status of being laughably bad. It’s god-awful, as the joke goes. Every character is so dumb, and every aspect so derivative, that it’s just a mess from beginning to end.

Ah, the staple of horror: the creepy kid, the failsafe for any hack hoping to make a horror movie, add the creepy kid and suddenly things are scarier, and it doesn’t work here. We’re introduced to two of the worst parents that ever lived, Paul and Jesse whom are played by Greg Kinnear and Rebecce Romjin who are very unconvincing. While shopping for shoes for their son Adam (very subtle reference), Jesse lets him go outside to play by himself, near a construction sight. Well done! There are no markers, no one guarding the sight and it’s oddly deserted, and the area is not sealed off. While playing, Adam’s ball goes out in to the street and he’s run over by a car, in a dramatic development that while sets the stage for the film is forced, rushed, and completely unrealistic. After the funeral they’re approached by a doctor, doctor Richard Wells who specializes in genes and cloning and offers them to clone their son to have him back. At first Paul is hesitant, but eventually he gives in and the cloning is done in a series of “very illegal” (as Wells describes it) experiments which is done in a hospital out in the mountains.

He makes millions of dollars and bases an entire medical institute on a very illegal practice, and they’re never investigated? Regardless the Jesse gives birth to Adam in a very badly done sequence, and the doctors aren’t even wearing any scrubs. Weird, clone or not whatever happened to head caps, gowns, masks and gloves for sterilization to prevent infection? There’s a reason doctors wear them. They’re not just for style, and as always the hospital they go to is dark and dreary. Regardless we flash forward to the age where he died, fifteen and he’s celebrating his birthday yet again. He’s Adam “number two” now, and the directors make it as subtle as a kick in the head that he’s Adam number two –because he has a different hairstyle. Ooh, spooky and very well done! One, two, or three Adams, none of it make a difference because they’re both played by the equally bad Cameron Bright who is not only unconvincing but is such a terrible actor in both his creepy mode and innocent mode.

Suddenly Adam Two begins changing. He’s having weird nightmares that are never explained, especially to the audience, and is starting to act weird, especially with his parents. He declares “I don’t think I like you very much anymore” to his father who recoils in horror in one of the most stupid red herring sequences I’ve ever witnessed. And he’s being haunted by his former self in some badly directed nightmares where he’s staring back at himself. What continues is a downhill slide of shit courtesy of writer Bomback and director Hamm who just don’t know how to create an intelligent thriller. This doesn’t even try to make a commentary about cloning, and the potential results and or side effects of cloning, the idea about it, nor does it try to make a profound message or social moral to the public. All it does is try to be yet another clone of “The Omen.”

It continues on in the vein of “The Good Son” and “The Bad Seed” as, for no reason whatsoever, that is never clearly or logically explained, Adam two begins becoming psychotic and runs down the usual list of horror conventions when he becomes suddenly pale, gives far off stares, he’s drawing disturbing pictures, and he speaks in a monotonous voice. And Paul and Jess are such crappy parents they don’t start to realize something is very wrong with their clone son until its too late. The plot becomes even more ridiculous as the plot takes a really dumb and mindless turn with the insinuation towards Adam two’s psychotic turning. It’s a development that just blew my mind with its unending nonsense that at one point must have made Deniro cringe. And the story introduces these ridiculous plot points that make no sense. The parents are trying to keep the fact from Adam two that he’s just a clone, and they even go to all lengths to keep it a secret, yet in one really awful scene, Romjin’s dark room is in shambles and all her pictures of Adam one are torn.

So, if they wanted to keep his cloning a secret, why would they leave the pictures lying around? And then she sits in the room with old pictures of Adam one with the door open. Are these smart people? I ask you. Then Adam two continues becoming psychotic, even killing a kid from school and suddenly, he’s to blame. It’s never indicated that Adam liked the kid, nor is it indicated that they were ever friends, so why would his mom call Adam first? Someone who has no connection with him whatsoever? The development halfway through with the whole film in connection to the house possibly being haunted is so utterly ridiculous, and stupid, and I was just in disbelief. The writer seemed to have written himself in a corner and doesn’t really know how to resolve it to he says “maybe it’s all ghosts”.

It’s sloppy, and badly done, and at one point Paul confronts a character in connection to the house who even refers to their home as “That there house”. Man, you have to feel sorry for Robert Deniro at this point when he’s starring in pieces of crap like this. As anticipated the climax is very abrupt and unresolved, but by then I just didn’t care, and was so glad to see this junk come to an end. While writer Bomback and director Hamm have the chance to create a socially conscious and relevant film about gene splicing and cloning, it inevitably becomes one piece of crap with a ridiculous plot that tries too hard to be a clone of “The Omen”. Unconvincing performances, horror clichés, and gigantic plot holes make this one miserable experience that relentlessly insults our intelligence.