Godsend (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This may be the worst-reviewed major movie of the year. Rotten Tomatoes shows that the critical overview was 3% positive, 97% negative.

I think that probably under-rates the film. If I had to describe Godsend in one sentence, I would not say "it is a bad movie, skip it". I'd say, "it had moments when it seemed like it was going to be an OK movie, then degenerated a bit with some logical lapses, then pissed everyone off by not being able to come up with an ending." I'm pretty sure that the complete lack of resolution caused people to leave their theaters in an irritable mood, and thus write some nasty reviews.

Frankly, I don't know if there was a way to end it. A couple lose their beloved son, Adam. They are talked into cloning him, and have another Adam. Things are hunky-dory until Adam 2 reaches the age at which Adam 1 died, at which point he starts to get eee-villlllll. Turns out the cloning doctor had some mysterious secrets which he didn't share with the bereaved parents.


Rebecca Romijn showed her breasts in a pre-release version of the film, but the theatrical and DVD releases have been rated PG-13, and the nudity is gone.

OK, here's the major problem. You come up with an ending. Give the characters a fate they deserve. The doctor who plays God - he could die, I guess, but that wouldn't resolve the film. We would still have the evil kid. So we kill the evil kid, right? I don't know. Adam 2 was just a kid. 99% of the time he was a sweet as Adam 1. He didn't do anything to cause the evil. His parents cloned him, and the doctor did some very crazy stuff which screwed the kid up. So do we let the kid live? Then how do we stop him from being evil, when he has major problems in his DNA. Do we come up with a miraculous ending in which another doctor comes along and cleans his DNA? That isn't realistic. What about the parents? What fate do they deserve? Adam 2 was brought into the world only to be an exact replica of another human being, and the parents kept Adam 1 a secret from Adam 2. They are not exactly morally pure in this drama.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic.

  • commentary by director and cinematographer

  • four alternate endings, with commentary from writer and diorector

The writer and the director were well aware that they had painted themselves into a corner. They shot five completely different endings, which are on the DVD with their rather rueful commentary. They finally decided to use one of those "the end???? endings that didn't really resolve anything, and left the film open for a sequel.

Thank heaven the critical and box office reactions were so negative that we will not have to face the possibility of that sequel.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: two stars. James Berardinelli 1.5/4, Roger Ebert 2/4, BBC 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 4.5/10, Yahoo voters call it a C.
  • Box Office Mojo. It was budgeted at $25 million for production, and the distribution/advertising costs are estimated around $15 million. It grossed only $14 million.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. It is not as bad as people said, but the complete lack of an ending will undoubtedly leave a foul taste in your mouth when it is over.

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