Runtime: 1 hr 42 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Nick Hamm
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn, Cameron Bright, Robert De Niro, Christopher Britton
To paraphrase Joyce Kilmer's famous poem, boys are made by fools like me, but only Dr. Wells can make a copy.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 5 years ago
To paraphrase Joyce Kilmer's famous poem, boys are made by fools like me, but only Dr. Wells can make a copy. GODSEND, a science fiction horror movie with a single idea (cloning), is directed lamely by Nick Hamm, whose last film was the equally inept THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (internationally titled MARTHA, MEET FRANK, DANIEL AND LAURENCE).
A by-the-numbers thriller, GODSEND plays like a bad TV movie that somehow attracted a good cast. Robert De Niro phones in his performance as Dr. Richard Wells, a fertility expert with a secret, monster-sized clinic in the middle of nowhere. He mysteriously shows up at the funeral of eight-year-old Adam Duncan (Cameron Bright) and offers to cook up a duplicate Adam -- should have tried for Eve -- for Adam's distraught parents, Paul and Jessie Duncan (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos).
From the very beginning, the plot is riddled with believability problems. After Paul is mugged by one of his ex-students -- who ends up giving him a pass after recognizing him -- and after he is offered a new teaching job in a safer town at exactly twice his current salary, Paul does what we all would do. He wants to turn it down because he is worried about "selling out." Right. Dr. Wells obsessively clicks two big steel balls together in the palm of his hand, thereby driving the audience crazy. Hmm, where have we seen this behavior before? My favorite part of the stupid story is that Dr. Wells arranges for the Duncans to be given a lakefront, multimillion dollar mansion to live in with their dup. It is complete with a three-story, spiral staircase and a big basement, whose sole purposes are to serve up visual opportunities for the cinematographer.
The movie -- filled with all the horror movie clichйs of loud, unexpected noises and jump-cut dream sequences -- really doesn't get going until Adam grows up to be eight again. After that, let's just say that he sees dead people and has some bad nightmares that just might come true.
The story is so full of ridiculous moments that it's hard to hold down the laughter. A preposterous and obviously guessed "twist" in the third act was all it took to open the floodgates in our audience. Up until then there was persistent random snickering, but, after the big "surprise," the guffaws start coming like a Biblical flood. If the movie were a parody, which it most certainly isn't, this could have been a good thing.
"It this for real?" Jessie asks at one point. What she should have asked is, "Is this for laughs?"
GODSEND runs 1:42. It is rated PG-13 for "violence including frightening images, a scene of sexuality and some thematic material" and would be acceptable for teenagers.