Despite the release date delays and rumors of five different endings, on paper, Godsend is loaded with terrific
potential. It?s a horror film that deals with the moral dangers of human cloning and it stars Greg Kinnear, Rebecca
Romijn-Stamos and the legendary Robert De Niro. It can?t possibly end up that badly. Unfortunately, it?s much worst then
this viewer could have conceived.
As mentioned earlier, the initial plot hook is great. Godsend is about family (Kinnear and Romijn-Stamos) that loses
their only son (Cameron Bright) in a car accident. A Dr. Frankenstein-type scientist played by De Niro quickly enters the
picture and offers the bereaved parents an opportunity to get their child back through the magic of human cloning. The catch
is that they would have to kill all ties with the outside world and live in a small, secluded Stepford Wives-type town. As
you might expect, our protagonists? dream situation slowly ends up being too good to be true.
The performances are strong as one might expect. After great performances in two distinctly different films, Auto
Focus and Stuck On You, Greg Kinnear proves once again that he is an actor to pay attention to. He is incredibly
convincing in even the film?s most awkward moments. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is equally strong in her role. She adds a great
deal more emotional weight than the end project deserves. Cameron Bright is also very good. He brings nice subtle touches
especially in the creepier and mysterious aspects of his character. Robert De Niro for the most part is solid. He hams it
up a bit towards the end. Unfortunately the role is underwritten. Just when the film should take his character into a more
complex territory that De Niro could easily handle, it fails in doing so.
Godsend?s biggest problem is that it fails to live up to its potential. The script and direction slowly plods away to
its conclusion without any enjoyment. The film starts off interesting enough but quickly degenerates into plot contrivances
and an unending array of cheap scares that go nowhere. The film takes way too long to reach its conclusion. The third act
is an absolute major letdown. It?s one of the weakest and laziest that this viewer has seen in recent memory. If the
chosen ending was this lame, one can only imagine how bad the other four endings are.
Nothing is worst than a movie that completely lacks a worthy pay off. The performances are literally the only good thing
going for this dud but unfortunately it?s not nearly enough to save this wreck. With a hot topic subject matter as
potentially fascinating as human cloning, this film should have been at the very least thought provoking. Simply put,
Godsend is an utter waste of time. It is so far the biggest disappointment of 2004.