Omar Naim's The Final Cut is startlingly different than a conventional science fiction film. It's a compelling fable that offers a vision of a world where memory implants record all moments of a person's life. Post mortem,... more » these memories are removed and edited by a "Cutter" into a reel depicting the life of the departed for a commemorative ceremony, called a Rememory. Robin Williams' powerful portrayal of Alan Hackman, a troubled "cutter," propels this character driven story that forces us to question the power of our memories and the sanctity of our privacy« less
Patrick D. (Madmanx) from BEAVERTON, OR Reviewed on 3/23/2008...
A mystery/thriller type story. No big surprises or twists, but decent enough to give a look-see.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tina O. (Swan) from LEWISTON, ID Reviewed on 2/10/2008...
Once was enough to watch this one.
3 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 12/28/2007...
This little-seen independent sci-fi flick came and went without any stain on the movie mainframe...I snagged a used copy of it on DVD and finally watched and enjoyed it very much.
It's the not-so-distant future and people now have the option of inserting a "Zoe Implant," a chip stored in your brain during infancy that preserves the memory of their entire life. When that Zoe implantee dies, their chip/memory is then stored on a playback disc and usually it is the request of the deceased's family to hire a "cutter" to edit the memory down to the length of a feature film, for a showing at their funeral and of course for personal playback use...usually the good stuff. This also of course has its controversial political views...mostly from liberal-types.
Alan Hakman (Williams) is the best and most renowned cutter in the biz. He is a very quiet and personal man who lives and breathes the cutter life. However, things start to brew when Alan is asked to cut the memory of a dead political figure with dark secrets named Bannister. He's visited by Fletcher (Jim Caviezel), a former cutter who mysteriously left the biz and disappeared for years. He is somewhat obsessed over the Bannister job that he hires a personal thug to assist him in obtaining the data. But Alan has other reasons not to give up the Bannister job, for in the politician's memory lies a secret from Alan's dark past that's been haunting him for 40 years and needs to sort through for his own sanity.
Also in the mix is Delila (Mira Sorvino), whom Alan has strong feelings for and is just about the only link for him to the reality that is a life. So Alan is now forced to deal with all this, which could cost him everything he's lived for.
This movie was very well-done considering the modest budget. Newbie writer and director Omar Naim gives us a well put together, smart sci-fi flick here. I was pleasantly surprised. Robin Williams delivers another fine genre performance as does Jim Caviezel.
This is good sci-fi, check it out...
7 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Intelligent, unconventional, and psychologically powerful
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 06/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked The Final Cut. It may not have enough excitement to appeal to some viewers, but it is intense in its own narrow, low-key fashion. The story takes place in a futuristic setting, but rookie writer/director Omar Naim doesn't approach the story from a what-if science fiction angle; this is really the story of one man's inner soul and how one significant memory can haunt you even as it is shaping your destiny.
The story is centered on a fascinating premise - that one's memories can be recorded and played back after the individual's death. The Zoe chip makes this possible; it's a synthetic implant that grows along with you as it records every single moment of your life. After your death, a sort of highlight reel of your most significant memories is put together and shown in a special Rememory service for all your family and friends to watch. Condensing someone's life into a couple of hours is a tough job, and it takes a talented professional cutter to do the job right. Alan Hackman (Williams) is one of the best cutters out there. He sees everything from each person's life, including some pretty awful stuff, but he gives the family the good memories they yearn for. There are plenty of protesters out there opposed to the Zoe chip, including one of Alan's old colleagues. Like leftist protest groups everywhere, these guys have no problem resorting to intimidation and violence - they only worry about the ethics of their opponents, not their own. Everything comes to a head when one of the bigshots behind the Zoe chip dies. Hackman has the job of cutting the Rememory, but the protestors want the data in order to pin something on the dead guy and bring down the company.
Hackman sees someone in the subject's memories that take him back to a memory that has haunted him his entire life. He rather desperately tries to find the individual and gain some kind of psychological closure for himself, throwing his monotonous life into turmoil and placing himself in great danger. It's a mission of self-discovery - and that only complicates matters.
The Final Cut showcases a great story - dark and personally claustrophobic, poignant, and always fascinating. Happy it isn't, nor is it conventional. It is serious, intelligent, and contemplative, raising all sorts of moral questions on both sides of the Rememory debate. By this point, we all know that Robin Williams is a master of drama as well as comedy, but it is still somewhat mesmerizing to see him carry this entire movie with his remarkably low-key persona. Some people may not like the dark cinematography and tone of the film, but I think they are great strengths that reinforce the artificial nature of the whole Rememory business. Hackman is basically unphased by all of the evil things he witnesses on his guillotine cutting machine, but you can only internalize so much without it exerting some kind of effect on you. The price he pays to do his job well is his increasing isolation from his fellow men. This character, not the Rememory technology, is the story here. As such, The Final Cut may not give everyone what he/she wants and expects from it, and I think that explains the mixed reviews."
The Final Cut
Michael Zuffa | Racine, WI United States | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the indeterminate future, people can choose to have a chip, called a Zoe implant, embedded in their brain that will record their memories. Upon their death, a cutter will edit those memories down to a two hour movie called a Rememory for loved ones to view. Alan Hackman (Williams) is not only a cutter, but he is one of the best. He can make a low life criminal look like a saint, and there is no job he will not take. He is a sort of Sin Eater, taking all the bad events of a person's life upon himself. He is somewhat antisocial, with a kind of-girlfriend named Della (Sorvino). Their relationship suffers because of his dedication to his job, and while she is not happy, he seems somewhat content.
Hackman is hired to do a Rememory for a wealthy man with a shady past. His widow wants the Rememory to make him look good, and knows that he can do it based on his reputation. Enter Fletcher (Caviezel), a former cutter who now is a leader of a group opposed to Remories. He wants to take the rich man's Zoe implant and use it for his own purposes. Hackman naturally refuses, and so begins a cat and mouse game to see who will end up with the implant.
Finally, interspersed with the story is a memory from Hackman's childhood that may have shaped his career path and the person he is today.
This is an interesting and entertaining movie. Once again, Robin Williams shows that he is excellent in more serious roles. Cabiezel is good as the bad guy, and Sorvino does her best with the small part that she has. This is an intelligent science fiction story that will make you question the nature and truthfulness of your memories. "The Final Cut" is a pleasant surprise that is in very limited release, so search it out and see it."
Be sure your sins will find you out.
Joel Munyon | Joliet, Illinois - the poohole of America. | 04/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Alan Hakman (Robin Williams) has the world's worst job. Set in the future, he operates a business that is responsible for "editing" the memories of rich, dead executive-types who's families want their memories to digitally be replayed during their funeral ceremonies. Some offer as much as $500,000 to Hakman for his services, and the sum of money is typically predicated on just how many skeletons the recently expired loved-ones had in their overpriced closets, and just how good a job he does at "cutting" those memories.
Hakman is himself no saint. A tragedy from his own childhood still haunts him and drives him to border-line paranoia. He is unsure of how this past episode actually happened, but is quite certain he was directly responsible for the incident, at least in his own mind. When Hakman discovers that one of his clients has hired him to erase certain memories of her dead husband in order to essentially expunge his dark involvement with their pre-teen daughter, Hakman's own personal ghosts come howling back to confront him and besiege him with questions on whether he should continue to dissolve certain memories of these shady dead men in order to continue making a living by splicing their memories and making them appear almost saintly.
This was a completely original and very entertaining film. Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino co-star. I recommend this film to anyone desiring an original plot with a highly-engrossing storyline. "
Robin Williams at his best
U2pop | Atlanta | 02/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine in the future we all will have an implant in our heads that will record everything we see and hear. The main character, Alan, played by Williams is a "cutter". He takes your implant after death and edits all the footage so that your family can come and watch a "Rememory" of your life.
Alan leads a lonely, depressing life, completely devoted to his work. When a big project comes up he jumps at the chance but then he sees something that changes his entire life..
It's a really well made, moving, thoughtful film. Robin Williams at his best, similar to One Hour Photo but not to hectic or monotone. It'll remind you of gattaca and of how far technology and the human race will go. What if we could relive everything a person ever saw? The real question would be: would we really want to?
One of the most entertaining miss-fires you'll see.
L Salisbury | Maryland United States | 01/12/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This one does get off to a good start and the Rod Sterling-esque premise is interesting. Williams, in one of his few truely "straight" roles, is effective. Yet the film does have countless flaws: the over "emoting" is way out of place in this sci-fi comic book setting, while the "editing room" scenes could have been better elaberated. And, by the second half, the drawback begin to outway the advantages. (Plus, what it took the film makers to do in 105 minutes, Sterling could have done in 30!) Still, despite these minuses, you will not come away from the movie feeling you been riped off of two hours of your life."