Dante Writes: The Worst Movie I Ever Saw
I’m usually pretty good at judging whether a movie will work out or not. Pretty good at it. I’ve rarely run into bad movies. There’s only one movie where I wanted to walk out of the theater. That movie was The Last Airbender; and I’m willing to bet many walked out and plenty more thought about it.
But, that’s not the worst movie I ever saw. No. The worst movie I ever saw was Godsend. This movie had a solid cast, including Robert De Niro. Here’s the thing: The plot and his name drew me in. This was before his career went down. Like, 2004, he was still a name you’d put in with the good actors at the time.
But this movie may have been the tipping point for him. I don’t know. What I do know is this is the worst movie I ever saw.
But yeah, this was a solid cast. Take a look at some names and some work they’ve done:
- Greg Kinnear/Paul (As Good As It Gets, You’ve Got Mail, Invincible)
- Rebecca Romijn/Jessie (X-Men Movies, Ugly Betty)
- Cameron Bright/Adam (Birth, Twilight movies)
It was a solid cast, for sure. Actually, Bright and Romijn stared in one X-Men film together: X-Men: The Last Stand. Cute.
It was directed by Nick Hamm, who is probably best known for his directing of The Hole. I’ve seen this movie and it was pretty good. Pretty good horror…eh, more thriller about a group of students getting trapped in an underground bunker. Yeah, Hamm does know how to do some thriller. Not this time.
It was written by Mark Bomback. Sigh. He was a writer for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes. Oh yeah, let’s toss in some Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington and a little bit of Logan, probably the best movie staring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
How in the actual f*ck did this movie bomb!?
The acting was bad. Just bad. The directing was horrific. The script was dumb. Everything about it was bad. Again, the story was fine.
So, I watched this movie probably five years ago. This was one of the rare times I yelled at my TV. Cursing the screen’s content. I think it honestly meant to be some sort of horror flick. It really did. But, it looked like a terrible parody.
You know how they say “so bad it was actually good”? Not this movie. This is one the edge of bad. It’s right there NEXT to the line of “so bad it’s good”. It’s the worst thing I have ever seen in my life and it will likely be a top ten worst movie when I reflect on my deathbed. My God.
So, to be fair to the movie and to you, I watched it again. Good God almighty I watched in again. I’m going to spoil it because it’s not worth watching it. It’s horrible. But, if you want to watch it for yourself…
- You are a fool. Watching this is the equivalent of jumping out of an airplane with no parachute. You want to die.
- Get out now, because spoilers are on the way, as I just said.
Right, so here we go.
The first 30 minutes or so are basically setup. We meet the family. Paul, Jessie, and the boy, Adam. Adam just turned 8, and then shortly after that, he dies in some somewhat exaggerated car accident. He gets hit by the car, and he’s done.
The parents mourn like any other would. Standard. Honestly, the movie is doing alright so far. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s fine.
So then, Robert De Niro’s character stops by and says “hey, I can clone your kid”, basically.
Now, previously, Jessie and Paul pretend to have a serious problem with ethics. So, I think what’s going on is Paul was offered a job to teach somewhere far away and he, and I quote, “feels like a sellout” because I guess he is currently teaching less fortunate kids.
Actually, one of his former students nearly robbed him at knife point while Paul was on his way to Adam’s birthday party. So, anyway, Jessie responds to Paul’s ethics crises with something almost terrible. She says she respects his ethics but this is all about Adam. The idea that he should be raised in a better environment. Screw the kids. Ironically, if he didn’t look out for those kids, he’d probably be dead in the alley that he ran into that former student on his way to this very party. Huh.
The students and overall environment is all implied. We don’t actually hear any of the characters say that’s what life is like. We never see him teach. We don’t see the school. The only thing we see is the former student who backed down likely out of respect because maybe the kid isn’t a thug. Maybe he’s just desperate. I mean, seriously, even in the best schools, there’s a couple kids that go off the rails. Sorry, but that’s life anywhere, Jessie. Christ.
So, anyway, this doctor presents this cloning thing and Paul is immediately against it because it’s immoral to him. Jessie’s like, nah, we’re doing it. Eventually, Paul gives in. Keep in mind, Paul was against this from the start and Jessie did a LOT of pressuring to make this happen. Remember that.
Okay, now I can admit, there was a cute little scene when the new Adam is born. So, when a baby is born, you know he/she’s fine when you hear crying. Adam wasn’t crying. At some point, the doctor is asking a nurse how long the baby hasn’t cried.
Then, all of a sudden, everyone is counting the seconds. Jessie looks stressed out, then starts counting. After the 47th second, Adam starts crying. Jessie’s like “that’s what happened before” or whatever. So, basically, this means that truly this is the exact kid they had before. Even born the same way. I thought that was a nice touch.
Then the movie goes to hell.
Right, so they fast forward to Adam turning 8 again. That night…I don’t know…I think it was supposed to be scary, but it was more like…whatever.
Anyway, Adam has this thing where he was being haunted by dead Adam. He starts freaking out and Paul and Jessie take him…
Actually, this is funny. So, Paul says “Call 9-1-1!” and Jessie goes “I’m calling Richard”. I thought that was funny. Richard is the doctor, by the way. Robert De Niro.
So, the next, uh, 20 minutes is basically us watching Adam get tormented by who I believe is dead Adam. Adam also starts acting “strangely”. Here’s the kicker: Only Paul runs into odd behavior from Adam. This is also important. But yeah, Adam has these “dreams” or “visions” of dead Adam.
One particular “strange” moment is when Paul is telling Adam it’s time to eat. Adam instead just walks swiftly away. Paul walks after him, calling him. Adam then runs into the woods. Paul runs after him. Paul finally catches up to Adam in this old scrap metal looking building.
Paul goes in and sees Adam staring blankly into the air. We don’t see what he sees. We don’t know what’s going on. No idea. And then that’s it. End scene. What? Like, the movie is trying to be mysterious and suspenseful and it’s like…too vague where nothing even makes sense.
Meanwhile, Paul keeps insisting on seeing a doctor or a specialist. For what? How can you explain your son’s entire medical history? He’s a clone. If the cloning process is causing this stuff, there’s nothing anybody else can do, especially since it’s illegal. You’re screwed. It’s a cycle. Paul sees something crazy with Adam, and then Paul whines to Jessie about seeing a specialist. Bruh, the movie somehow had a Groundhog Day subplot. Huh?
Richard actually has the most logical approach to this. Nobody knows Adam past 8 years old. This behavior could have been inevitable regardless of clone or not. That’s really the only suspense in the movie at this point. Is this clone Adam shutting down or clone Adam continuing to follow dead Adam’s footsteps?
The acting is very mono tone, even in his stress situations. Yelling comes off as scripted, as if this was the 19th take, and they’re just tired. Otherwise, it’s a lot of just above whispering going on. You know that loud whisper type. The speaking is like that. It’s supposed to add to the suspense, like “I see dead people” but louder. Didn’t work. It sucks.
Okay, so there was a major problem like 52 minutes into the movie. Out of freaking nowhere, as Jessie and Richard are talking in the kitchen. She says that Paul thinks Adam’s cells remember dead Adam.
My problem with this is there is nowhere in the movie up to that point that shows Paul coming to grips with this revelation, or even doing research on this possibility. The closest thing we see of him rambling on about cells is DNA and genes and how they work. That’s it. Where did this idea from Paul come from? A deleted scene? I just can’t.
But it’s similar to how the beginning of the movie was. It was all implied that he was teaching in a rough neighborhood and that perhaps he got a job offer to teach somewhere else and I don’t know.
Just before that stupid scene, we have Adam swinging and spitting. I’m not kidding. He’s swinging on a swing and spitting on everybody he can. He jumps off and lands in a teacher’s arms and spits right in her face. No remorse. “Strange”. Scary. Suspenseful! Was this comedy? Is this actually a parody?
But back to Jessie and Richard. Once again, Richard seems to be the voice or reason. He dismisses the idea that Adam’s cells remember his past life or something. I mean, I don’t even believe that those cells could remember that. Just because the movie is terrible, doesn’t mean it’s not able to follow its rules.
Paul continues to not understand he’s an idiot. So, he decides finally to see a specialist. While talking to the specialist, he runs into a problem. The specialist says: These dreams or night terrors are common; he’ll out grow them.
Paul then says, “this is something different”. Yes, Paul, we know that. But, it’s impossible to explain how this is different because it’s a clone thing, fool. Until someone has all of the information, they can only do but so much. Adam sounds like any other child and that’s it.
So Paul wasted his time. We had a scene that we didn’t need. As bad as the movie is, it’s logic was obvious. People outside of this “experiment” can’t know of it, so trying to ask them for advice is like looking for a good Tyler Perry movie. It’s a dead end.
Okay, so during this visit, we find out about Zachary. I’m assuming this is dead Adam, who has basically been haunting Adam. Adam describes Zach as the boy living in his dreams. Fine. Whatever.
It’s an hour and 16 minutes into the movie. God help me. This is one of those cheap scare tactics that just doesn’t have a place. So, Paul goes into the city trying to figure out who Zach is.
Eventually, he reaches an address and visits the home. The current own says she doesn’t know the name and doesn’t know the previous owners. Fine. Paul goes back into his car to figure out his next move. The camera follows his line of sight, essentially. So, it’s like first person shot. He gets in his car, bends over in it to look at some note, and then the camera pans up and we see the woman from the house is on the verge of slamming on the window.
This pissed me off and I immediately paused the movie and rambled about it before writing it out here. Here’s the thing…she did not have to slam on the window the way she did. She was slamming on it like you’d imagine slamming on a door or window because you’re either trying to scare someone or fight over a competing noise.
And it’s not like Paul was driving off and she got desperate. The car wasn’t even on. She was aggressive for no reason.
There was no competing noise, so I gotta go with she was trying to scare Paul. Let me add that her face flashed of malice. Like, as if she was mad at Paul for showing up. But then, she softens and says a nanny that she interviewed has known the previous owners.
Paul visits the nanny who tells the story of Zach. Zach is not dead Adam as I originally thought. No, he’s a dead kid who killed his mom. At the end of the conversation, she says his dad was at the hospital, as usual. He was a doctor.
At this point, it’s implied, to me at least, that Zach’s father is Richard. This builds up various scenarios and questions. One pressing me the most is did he construct Adam’s DNA to be just like Adam for the first 8 years, but then shift to being like Zach? So, it’s interesting.
Ultimately, that’s what we find out. While Adam is having one of his tantrums, his parents keep trying to calm him down. “Adam!, it’s okay”. Richard goes “Zach” and the boy calms down. Now see, is this were a good movie, this would likely be a heavy twist in the story. But, nah. But, the parents begin to put the pieces together: Adam is not fully Adam. He’s some sort of Adam and Zach mix. He was strictly Adam for 8 years, then somehow Zach’s DNA, I’m guessing with some “fan fiction”, activates? It’s a really interesting concept.
Beyond this point is so f’d up in so many ways. The last 30 minutes of this movie was a blur of foolishness. Let me see if I can just bullet point this out.
- Adam finds photos of himself…his previous self. Jessie tries to explain but Adam runs away. She barely calls out for him. No urgency to get him back. K.
- Richard is at a funeral and Paul finds him there. He confronts Richard about Zach and all of that. Paul “punches” Richard. No he doesn’t. All you see is a fist land on Richard’s shoulder and he falls back like he got knocked in the jaw. GTFOH. No, it was meant to be a punch. Like, he had a fist and swung. Just terrible choreography. I swear if they had a stunt double for this crap…
- Still in this “fight”, Richard retaliates by whacking Paul upside the BACK of the head with a candle stand. Except, no it lands on Paul’s…sigh…shoulder. Paul falls over and somehow the FRONT of his head looks like it’s been blown even though the BACK of the head is where the action’s at. Ask me how I’m doing at this point. I paused and replayed this little skirmish. I’m absolutely sure these were shoulder blows. Oh yeah, and the candle was lit, so now there’s a knocked out Paul and a burning church. Cool.
- No. NO, NO, NO. So, remember, Paul is knocked out by the candle stand. We jump back to Jessie somehow following Adam to the metal shack that he and Paul were in before. She goes in there and can’t find Adam. We eventually see Adam is behind her, ready to swing the ax and finish her off. But then, freaking Paul jumps in and stops it. How?
No, seriously, how? How did he wake up, drive over there, and manage to make no noise while getting in there? It can’t be. And he’s no longer bleeding. No dry blood or anything. And I guess he woke up quickly because otherwise he’d burn alive since the joint was on fire.
How would he immediately think to rush over there? It’s impossible unless there’s a major time gap that we just don’t see. Even then, the movie implies this stuff (the Paul/Richard “fight” and the Jessie/Adam chase) is happening simultaneously, so I rebuke that. You could say that he came to the conclusion that Adam was going to try to kill Jessie just like Zach killed his mom. But then, this is yet ANOTHER off screen revelation that we missed out on. If we’re being honest, this was some lazy “last second hero” BS. That’s what this is. The f*ck!
Ask me how I’m doing. Go ahead.
So, this scene ends with Paul asking Adam “who are you right now?”, in reference to either Adam or Zach. Adam replies “I’m your son”, then gives this really weird smile. Pretty sure he smiled like that because that was supposed to be creepy, but it failed. So, this question from Paul implies that Adam has multiple personalities. We don’t hear about this all movie and now, at the end, it’s a thing!?
Don’t get me wrong, we know there is some sort of Zach gene in Adam, but he didn’t really “act” like another kid. He was just haunted by this kid. We did find out that Zach was a violent kid earlier as I mentioned his killed his mom. And, this was a lazy way to show that perhaps Zach was trying to kill Jessie in the end.
So, it blacks out and we jump six months into the future. We see that Richard essentially dropped off the face of the earth, but he’s still trying to make another Zach.
Meanwhile, Paul, Jessie, and Adam move somewhere. Adam is still haunted by Zach as the movie essentially ends with another terrible scare. Roll credits; I’m done.
I don’t………..I’m not a parent so maybe I’m not qualified to say this but if this kid tried to kill me or my wife, I got to CUT HIM LOOSE. I mean seriously! What happens next time Zach shows up? Not like you can send him to a specialist for treatment. You made this kid illegally. Heck, maybe they’re stuck with him. How can you get rid of a kid without raising questions? And those questions would lead back to cloning. It’s really sick and f’d up. I’m fine with all of that. But, the delivery of it all was less exciting than when I wipe myself after taking a dump. And, honestly, this movie was the result of looking in the toilet after eating something you should not have and it either came out through the mouth or ass.
It has a 4% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Audience score is a sky high 20%. IT’S BAD.
The fact that I sat through it again really opened my eyes to how BORING the movie was. It was boring. So many things sucked about it. It wasn’t scary; but I could forgive that. It wasn’t suspenseful, but I could forgive that. It wasn’t funny; but I could forgive that. I could forgive anything except for the fact that it was boring. That’s the worst thing to be. Boring. Like I said, it wasn’t able to be bad enough to be good. It was pure bad. That’s the real nightmare of it all.
Godsend is the worst movie I have ever seen, and it’s not close. My ability to generally avoid bad movies means that I likely won’t find something to top this. The plot and cast drew me in, but this was a lie. De Niro owed someone something and this movie was it. He looked like he didn’t care. Nobody cared.
If God truly had sent this, then I need to really reevaluate my salvation status because this was a pure, PURE Sh!T SHOW. Ugh!
If you have not seen this, don’t do it. Don’t. I promise you, you will regret it. Almost two more hours of my life gone. Wasted.
I’m going to end with a bunch of audience reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:
- Damn, this film is so poorly made. The editing doesn’t even make sense. Unless I missed something (I couldn’t be bothered to go back and check), De Niro’s character kills (or nearly so) Greg Kinnear’s character and leaves him incapacitated in a burning church. Shortly thereafter, Kinnear’s character arrives home – fine. That’s one hour, 45 minutes I can never get back.
- good premise given inept/illogical treatment
- I tried not to turn this movie off, but I did. I’m surprised that DeNiro, Kinnear and Romijn actually accepted the parts for a movie like this because they’re all good actors. This crap seemed cheap and tries to capitalize on current debates without any direction
- De Niro, how could you do it to us? We trusted you!
- Interesting concept but fails to deliver. Actually gets kind of silly at the end.
- This is one of those mediocre films that, four years later, you barely recollect having watched them in the first place. Not horrible, just boring.
- Started off alright but then became stupid, predictable and a bit shit
Tell me the worst movie you’ve ever seen.