Monday, October 10, 2005

Godsend (2004)

A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005

The author of this review is quite aware that people go to theatres to be entertained above else and, therefore, there is little room for some serious discussion about important issues in contemporary Hollywood movies. However, I'm still getting increasingly annoyed with some intriguing scientific concepts being reduced to cheap B-movie plot gimmicks. One of the worst examples could be current debate about human cloning, which is abused by the screenwriters of GODSEND, 2004 thriller directed by Nick Hamm.

Film begins when high school teacher Paul Duncan (played by Greg Kinnear) and his photographer wife Jessie (played by Rebecca Romijn) lose their adorable 8-year old son Adam (played by Cameron Bright) in a traffic accident. The devastated couple is approached by Dr. Richard Wells (played by Robert de Niro), top medical scientist who developed various cloning techniques and offered an opportunity to have their son reborn as a clone. After some hesitation, they agree to take part in illegal experiment and Jessie later bears son identical to Adam. Their happy life starts to change after new Adam's eighth birthday - their son begins to suffer from terrible visions and his behaviour becomes anti-social. Paul begins to suspect that personality change might have something to do with a cloning procedure that apparently didn't go as perfect as Dr. Wells claimed.

Even from the first, cliche-ridden scenes (adorable family just waiting to be struck by tragedy, street incident showing how noble one protagonist is) GODSEND shows that it is not going to rise above Hollywood average. British director Nick Hamm, on the other hand, maintains viewers' interest by using the acting talents of young Cameron Bright, as well as rural Canadian locations. Unfortunately, the suspicions about film's ultimate quality begin with the appearance of Robert de Niro - once great actor whose name on a poster now tells anyone interested in good film to run to the hills. In the final sections of the film, the Mark Bomback's script - that have taken a safe route of conforming to combination of mainstream Judeo-Christian values and Hollywood's traditional technophobia - begins to collapse under the series of implausibilites and cheap plot "twists" that lead to one of the most disappointing and underwhelming endings in recent Hollywood history. By that time, both those expecting serious film about human cloning and those wanting quality horror film are going to want hour and half of their lives back.

RATING: 2/10 (-)


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