Godsend Review

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by AVForums Aug 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Godsend Review
    After enjoying their son Adam's eighth birthday, high school teacher Paul Duncan and his wife Jessie are considering moving away from their inner city life for Adams benefit but, just one day after his birthday party, tragedy strikes and Adam is killed in a freak motor accident. Following the funeral, Doctor Richard Wells seeks them out to offer them a remarkable option. If they will agree to move away from everyone they know (and who knew Adam), he can bring Adam back. A genius in the forefront of cloning, Wells (Robert De Niro) has perfected a technique that can produce a genetically perfect copy. After initially being horrified and rejecting Wells' proposal, Paul watches as he and his wife fall deeper into grief before, eventually, succumbing to the Doctors offer but, shortly after his eighth birthday, the second Adam begins to exhibit terrifying behaviour.

    The true godsend of this movie was probably its' release date. With the subject of the rights and wrongs of cloning a human being riding high in the publics mind, what we have here is a morality play. Unfortunately what we also have here appears to be a “Twilight Zone” style script stretched to almost two hours running time.

    The movie starts well enough with Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos portraying the young couple who are thrown into a pit of despair at the loss of Adam (although Kinnears performance as Paul seems a little forced, especially when his character hears of the death of his child), whilst De Niro seems wasted in the role of their potential saviour West, the cloning genius whos' offer seems to be too good to be true. The real problems with the movie start to creep in when the true cause of the cloned Adams behaviour is revealed. Without giving too much away, the movie throws away a great many possible plotlines (all of which would be a great deal more interesting) and starts to descend into a unfulfilling mish-mash of Hameresque horror clichés. This being a PG-13, even these twists aren't particularly thrilling and, by the rather damp squib of an ending, you begin to see why there are four alternate endings in the extras section of this DVD. These additional endings also show that two directions had originally been thought of for the conclusion of the story, unfortunately the option chosen leaves too many questions unanswered and raised plot points flopping around at the end of the movie.

    The Rundown

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