The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
'Godsend" tells the story of parents whose only son is killed in an accident, and who are offered the opportunity to clone him. If all goes well, the grieving mother will bear a child genetically identical to the dead boy. I would find that unspeakably sad, but the movie isn't interested in really considering the implications; it's a thriller, a bad thriller, completely lacking in psychological or emotional truth.
Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos star, as Paul and Jessie Duncan; he's an inner-city high school teacher and she's a photographer. Immediately after their son, Adam, is killed, they're approached by Dr. Richard Wells (Robert De Niro), who offers them an illegal opportunity to retrieve one of Adam's cells and implant it in Jessie's womb so that she can bear another Adam. At first they resist, but then they agree, and soon they have another son named Adam. Both boys are played by Cameron Bright.
Dr. Wells, who made millions earlier in his career, operates out of a vast medical laboratory in Vermont and persuades the Duncans to move up there; they must cut all ties with former friends and family, he explains, because, of course, the Adam clone will raise difficult questions. To help them settle in, he provides a waterfront house that will have every real estate agent in the audience thinking in the millions. Adam Two is born (in a particularly unconvincing live childbirth scene) and quickly reaches the same birthday that Adam One celebrated just before he was killed. Until then he has been an ideal child, but now he begins to get weird. "Dad," he tells his father, "I've been thinking. I don't think I like you so much anymore." As Kinnear recoils in pain, the kid grins and says he was only kidding. Ho, ho. "There was always the possibility," Dr. Wells intones, "that things could change once he passed the age when he died."
I dare not reveal the secret around which the plot revolves, but I can say that Adam Two has visions and night terrors, and in them sees a little boy whose experiences seem to intersect with his own. At school, Adam Two is not popular, perhaps because he spits on playmates and a teacher, perhaps because he is just plain weird; the movie Omenizes him with big closeups, his face pinched and ominous. At home, he has a habit of hanging around in the woodshed with sharp instruments or invading his mother's darkroom, where a lot of photos of Adam One are kept in a box that really should have been locked.