THE FINAL CUT
Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Mimi Kuzyk
104 Minutes, Directed by Omar Naim
is the not too distant future and the use of implants called “Zoë Chips” has
been approved and in use for years now. These chips record every waking moment
of the implantee’s life so that when they die a video referred to as a
“Re-Memory” can be created as a sort of visual eulogy for the dead. Alan Hakman
(Robin Williams) is employed as one of the editors or “cutters” as they are
called. His job is to reduce someone’s life down into a smoothly paced video
that highlights only the good facets of the person’s life while ignoring the
more devious side of human nature. He has gained a reputation for being able to
make daisies out of even the most disgusting person’s life while remaining
detached from the vile acts he witnesses.
While editing the life of a
high society corporate executive he thinks he sees someone from his past,
someone who has haunted his memories for decades. This discovery leads Hakman on
a journey that drags him knee-deep into a side of human existence that repulses
even him, desensitized as he is to most behavior.
The Final Cut, written
and directed by Omar Naim, is an occasionally disturbing film blessed with a
superb premise and good acting while, at the same time, cursed by underwhelming
execution and an absolutely garish look courtesy of digital video processing.
"Yet another film that plays it safe and suffers as a result . .
The premise for The Final
Cut is ripe with possibilities. There are seemingly countless different
paths that could be explicated. The idea of the public vs. private domain when
it is applied to the idea of memories and whether one’s memories should be put
on display for all to see; this is such an inherently intriguing idea that a
great film could and should have been created.
Unfortunately, Omar Naim, a
rookie writer/director opts for a disappointingly conventional take on the
material. He shapes the film as just another mystery without even doing much to
transform the film into anything especially thrilling or memorable (pun
A point also must be made about
his decision to utilize digital video a la 28 Days
Later to shoot the film. While it may be some sort of twisted metaphor for
the fuzziness with which we actually remember the past, it certainly does not
add any new dimension to the film. Instead, it detracts because the film is
often shrouded in darkness in the first place and digital video makes it even
worse, almost to the point of being unable to decipher what is occurring.
At least the film is the
beneficiary of another solid performance by Robin Williams, once again playing a
more subdued persona. He effortlessly conveys the tortured soul that Alan Hakman
has become -- almost an automaton far removed from what it means to be a human
being. In a supporting performance as a decidedly serpentine ex-cutter, Jim
Caviezel gives a pitch-perfect performance.
Yet another film that plays it
safe and suffers as a result, only the consistently good performances from two
well-known thespians keep The Final Cut from the cinematic trash bin.
- Joe Rickey
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