Directed by Nick Hamm, starring Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Robert De Niro and Cameron Bright.
'Godsend', much like an electioneering politician, promises far more than it delivers. The story is of an eight-year-old boy Adam (Bright) who is knocked down and killed by a car. His grieving parents Paul (Kinnear) and Jessie (Romijn-Stamos), are then approached by Dr Richard Wells (De Niro), who offers them the chance to give birth again to the same child. Despite reservations they take Wells up on his offer, and everything goes smoothly until Adam passes the age at which he died. At that point his personality takes a turn for the worse but nobody can figure out why.
'Godsend' is actually a very entertaining movie but, afterwards, you're left with questions that it fails to answer. This is mainly down to an unsatisfactory ending, which suggests a sequel is in the pipeline.
The cast are let down by the script, with the brilliant De Niro completely under-utilised. He has received a lot of criticism for the roles he has chosen in recent years and neither his critics, nor his most ardent fans, are likely be overawed by this one. Romijn-Stamos earns her money by constantly weeping and occasionally yelling out "Adam!". Kinnear is passable, but his character is a little one-dimensional and the sympathy we should feel for him and his family is sadly lacking. Much of that is due to Adam's death coming far too early for us to form an opinion on him, and indeed his parents, before the resurrection.
Being a thriller there are plenty of hair-raising moments, but they are a little dragged-out and not particularly original. The film must be commended for taking on the topical subject of human cloning but some will criticise it for being 'anti-science' by scaremongering about the possible outcomes of cloning.
The problem with 'Godsend' is that it doesn't know whether it is merely a thriller or if wants to seriously examine the contentious issue of cloning. As a result it is only a good film although it had the potential to be a great one.