Godsend (2004)

MAY 2, 2008


Some movies, you watch and just wonder how they got made. There’s nothing particularly awful about Godsend, but at the same time, nothing very good either. They take an interesting concept (clones become crazy once they get older than their original counterparts) and do absolutely nothing with it, resulting in a movie that feels like the first act stretched out for 100 minutes. Certainly you can make an interesting religion vs. science debate type movie on the cloning issue, but these ideas are barely even mentioned, let alone explored; it's like the local public access version of presenting two sides of an important issue. Fucking Clonus Horror had more to say. And the ending is as half-assed as it gets; the movie doesn’t conclude so much as it just sort of stops. This is the type of shit I expect from a straight to DVD movie, but not one starring one of the greatest actors of all time, not to mention Robert De Niro.

It also features Cameron Bright as... a creepy kid! Seriously, what the hell is with his agent? Can’t he ever just play a regular kid? No, he’s gotta be the key to all human mystery or whatever the fuck (twice – X3 and Ultraviolet), or a weird son of a Russian who almost gets molested by Juliet from Lost (Running Scared) or simply being lusted after by Nicole Kidman (Birth). Get this poor little bastard into a talking dog movie or something normal like that.

At least he DOES something in the movie (kills another kid and dumps him in the river). Everyone else is content with simply sitting around talking about how strange he is. Hell, the bad guy (De Niro) is never even really confronted or fought – when Greg Kinnear finally threatens to tell the cops about his illegal clone factory, De Niro hits him over the head and knocks him out. Kinnear escapes somehow (the building in which he’s laying unconscious is also on fire), De Niro simply... moves to another town. Then Kinnear moves the family to a new town, where we see an additional 5 minutes of nothing continuing to happen. The DVD has 4 other endings (almost an hour’s investment), all of which are slightly better but still incredibly underwhelming. Was Godsend supposed to be a franchise or something? Why don’t they bother fucking CONCLUDING any of the film’s storylines? Our bad guy is neither stopped or victorious, our killer kid is neither cured or killed (or locked up), etc. The entire movie is just sort of there.

Considering that the director and writer both contribute to the disc's extras, one must imagine that the film wasn’t re-edited without their consent or anything of that nature (the only problems they allude to is not having enough money to film the ending they originally wanted, but with 5 different endings ordered by the studio, they ended up filming it anyway). So why is the film so incomplete? At the beginning, we see the kid having a party with all of his friends. He seems a bit more interested in talking to De Niro than playing with them, but still, he is obviously a sort of normal kid (until he passes the aforementioned threshold) . But when he begins getting weird, all of his friends disappear from the movie. We know his parents don’t care for his new behavior, but how is he acting with the other kids? The only interaction he has after that is with a new bully in school (played by the absolute worst child actor this side of Return of Swamp Thing), and of course, the one kid he kills. He's obviously the most interesting character in the film, and yet they ignore him as much as possible. Another example – it’s hinted that De Niro has interest in Kinnear’s wife (Rebecca Romijn), but again, this is never explored beyond him buying up a bunch of her crappy photos.

And for the love of Christ, how can you take a movie seriously when they try to make those metallic stress ball things scary? They literally try to evoke scares by playing the sound of the two balls scraping together REALLY LOUDLY. Ooooh, spooky.

No deleted scenes help explain any of this crap. Other than the alternate endings, the only other extra is a commentary by the pretentious Brit director, a track that is merely dull until the point where he suddenly invites his DP to join him, at which point they begin discussing lenses and film stock, rather than why their movie is so fucking pointless.

What say you?



  1. No shit. I saw it at the dollar theater (when we used to have one) and left wanting my dollar back.

    Not to mention, they CUT OUT a great nude scene from Rebecca Romijn which was floating around the net before the release of the film.

  2. Completely right. It seems like this movie was just a snapshot of time rather than a full fledged movie.
    De Niro and Pacino have really declined over the past couple years.(Grouped together due to same celebrity Echelon.)
    It would have been at least alright if it were entertaining. But no


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