The Final Cut (2004)
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Review Date: November 03, 2004
Director: Omar Naim
Writer: Omar Naim
Producers: Nick Wechsler
Robin Williams as Alan
Mira Sorvino as Delila
Jim Caviezel as Fletcher
In some distant future, society has integrated the capacity to "re-memorize" someone's life after their death into our every day lives, including people called "cutters" who specialize in editing a deceased person's memories into a "movie" to be played at their funeral. The expert cutter in the case of this film happens to be Patch Adams...that is, Robin Williams, and he runs into an issue from his own past, whilst cutting someone's else life video. Got all that? It's actually an interesting premise. Too bad the movie doesn't take full advantage of it.
This film reminded me a lot of GODSEND, another creepy flick that started off with an excellent premise, but ultimately just went very generic, didn't really fulfill the numerous more interesting possibilities brought up by its concept and made you feel sorta empty inside, when all was said and done. And as if all that wasn't enough...Mira Sorvino is in this one too! Granted, we're all happy to find out that she's actually still alive and making movies, but her character is about as empty a character as you can find in any film, and considering that Romjin-Stamos, at least, provided us with an "undie shot" in the aforementioned movie, we get little more than Sorvino's limp acting in this one. I gave this film a rating that recommends you check it out "on video" only because it truly doesn't deserve to be seen on the big screen, since it doesn't live up to its potential in almost any way, but does provide you with enough stuff to think about-- enough to check out in the privacy of your own den. The film's first half hour is actually quite intriguing with a premise loaded with tangents from which to swing, but for some odd reason, the filmmaker decided to tie the movie down to a lame subplot about a group of weirdos against the idea of the "memory cutting" (which wasn't really fulfilled), a lame subplot about Robin Williams' weak relationship with the aforementioned daughter-of-Paul and ultimately, a plotline that concentrated more on Williams' own character and his past, rather than the greater paths through which this sort of technology might have been exploited more creatively on film.

It all would not have been so mediocre if we gave a shit about Williams' character, but we don't, since he's essentially playing the same cold, unexpressive, unemotive ONE HOUR PHOTO guy, who worked in that film because he was a "loon", but who doesn't really work here, since we're supposed to relate and root for the guy, on some level. We don't, so I was left hoping the film would take a more exciting turn at any point...which it didn't. Jim Caviezel is also in the movie, but along with the year's (if not...the decade's!) fakest beard, he didn't really bring all that much to the playing field either (except for that awful, awful beard, of course). Running at a little under 90 minutes, the film also felt like it was chopped up on its own and likely taken away from the filmmaker's ultimate vision, with the final 10 minutes taking some quick turns, but in too little time (let me process it, man). I liked the way the movie was shot though, a lot of shadows with top-notch cinematography and directing, but none of the characters or actors were particularly stand-out, in fact, some just seemed to be walking through their parts. The film's first 10 minutes were very good, with an important flashback that you surely should not miss, but unlike films like STRANGE DAYS and GATTACA, which established their futuristic and moral circumstances early on and developed their characters, this film simply could not take its intriguing premise and go anywhere but the most basic of places with it, which in the end, didn't fully entertain or truly involve. See it for the beard, but don't expect a sci-fi classic by any means.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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