Godsend Nick Hamm

Godsend Nick Hamm
Of the many things that Nick Hamm's Godsend lacks, perhaps the most glaring omission is commitment. This is true of the storyline, the performances and even the conclusion of this convoluted science-fiction morality play. After the accidental death of their eight-year-old boy Adam (chillingly portrayed by Cameron Bright), Paul and Jessie Duncan (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) are confronted by Dr. Richard Wells (Robert DeNiro), a former professor of Jessie's who offers the distraught couple a chance to get their son back. Claiming to be on the forefront of some miraculous new discovery in genetic research, Wells insists that he can clone Adam perfectly if the Duncans give up their lives and live in secret. After some resistance, the couple agrees to take part in Wells's experiment and enjoy seven years of bliss with a new version of their son Adam. Upon his eighth birthday, however, Adam is soon haunted by dreams of another boy's death and murder, which cause him to have some major déjà vu about his own life and develop a nasty, vengeful personality. Though the film flirts with decrying human cloning as immoral, it falls short of actually taking a firm stance for or against it. Neither the doctor nor the parents pay for their "illegal" actions, though they are divided on the issue by the end of the film. Other than Bright and Kinnear, there is little emotional engagement from the cast; Romijn-Stamos is competent, while DeNiro plays Wells as a maybe kind of evil character whose fate is undetermined. In fact, there is barely any real resolution to the plot of this film, a point the filmmakers highlight by including four "alternate endings" as DVD special features. Two of these portray Wells as a repentant, dying villain for no plausible reason, while another fools the audience into believing Paul strangles his cloned son to death before backing off, again with no rational explanation. The flightiness of Godsend's conclusion is indicative of its confused trajectory as a whole and truly hampers it from being a successful thriller. Plus: Director's commentary, story boards. (Lions Gate)