When Robert De Niro plays God, he actually lights a church on fire

This is my favorite scene from one of the most ridiculous mad science movies of all time: Godsend. In which Greg Kinnear confronts Robert De Niro, who's tampered with forces that man was not meant to yadda yadda, and everything goes horribly wrong. To the point where their debate over whether De Niro was wrong to play God leads to them actually lighting a church on fire. Just in case you, you know, missed the theme.

Warning: Clip is somewhat spoilery.

In Godsend, Kinnear plays a grieving dad whose son is killed in a car accident because his wife (Rebecca Romijn) wasn't paying attention. Kinnear is a saintly, dedicated teacher who teaches at an inner city school — this is established in one very quick and dirty scene, where one of his former students attempts to mug him, before recognizing the greatest teacher he ever had, the one who almost made a difference but not quite, etc. If only that student had paid attention to Greg Kinnear's classes.


Anyway, so Kinnear and Romijn's kid is killed — but Robert De Niro comes to them with an offer. He can clone their dead son and implant him into Romijn, so she can give birth to the same kid a second time. (They can't just make another baby, because Romijn is now infertile.) But their cloned son turns out to be defective: When he reaches the same age he was when he died, he starts acting demonic and murdering other kids and stuff. Is he possessed? Is he remembering his previous death? Is it... Satan?

Actually, no. Turns out that De Niro had a son who died, too, who was a serial killer in the making — so bad that his nanny tried to smother him to death with the shower curtain. De Niro's son murdered everyone at his high school, and then killed his mom and himself. Because De Niro's kid died in a fire, there wasn't enough genetic material to clone him — so instead, De Niro manipulated the genes of Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn's baby, to give their cloned son some of the mental attributes of his own evil serial killer kid. And... it worked! The reason why Adam is a serial killer is because he's remembering De Niro's son's life, not his own past life. It makes. Total sense.

Does Jesus approve of this sort of genetic hijinks? Take a look at that burning Bible in the clip, and decide for yourself.

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