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The Final Cut

A movie directed by Omar Naim

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The Final Cut

  • Mar 23, 2010
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The Final Cut is an intriguing film from 2004 starring Robin Williams. Alan Hakman (played by Williams) lives in a world where certain people (who have enough money) can pay to have their offspring implanted with a Zoe chip before they are born. These implants literally record every moment of one's life. After a person with the chip dies, a "cutter" takes the footage and edits it into a "Rememory", which is then played at the person's funeral. Alan is one of these "cutters" and is known for being able to make even the worst individuals come off as positive and caring through his editing and rearranging of these "rememory" films. Alan is given an assignment to edit the Zoe footage of the recently deceased Charles Bannister, who was a former manager at Eye Tech. While editing the footage, Alan begins to delete all traces of Bannister's wrongdoings in life, making him come off as a saint despite his many indiscretions. A former "cutter" named Fletcher (James Caviezel) approaches Hakman and asks if he can have the Bannister footage for himself. He is willing to pay $500,000 in exchange for it. Fletcher wishes to use Bannister's Zoe footage as a way to bring down the eye tech corporation since he feels that people should be allowed to remember for themselves and that they should also have a right to privacy in their lives. However, Alan does not want to relinquish the Bannister footage to Fletcher because as he's editing the footage, Alan regonizes a mysterious man in the footage from his past whom he has not seen since childhood. Alan is determined to find out who this person in the footage is since he has played a key role in defining Alan's whole identity as a human being. Alan needs the footage in order to try and identify this mystery man, but Fletcher is determined to get the footage for himself no matter what the cost. It's a race against time in this thought provoking, eye-catching film.

It had been a few years or so since I last saw this film, so I decided to pick it up at my local library and watch it again over the weekend. It's just as engaging now as it was back when it first came out. The thing that really intrigues me about the film was the realism that Omar put into this work. The film does not have a futuristic setting at all, it has a very modern day feel to it. I don't think they give an actual time period as to when this film takes place, but they didn't need to. It has a timeless aspect to it which helps the film considerably. Also, while the film may have a sci-fi theme, it plays out more like a drama. There aren't many shoot out scenes and there aren't any explosions. The film mainly consists of people having conversations that deal with cleansing one's self of the wrongs that they've committed in life. This is as true for the Hakman character as it is for any of the deceased people whose footage he has to edit. It's a film of self discovery and letting the truth be known and not hidden. It's also a film of internal growth where the past must be confronted and dealt with in order for one to truly move on. Some of the plot points could've been organized a little better, but overall, I think it's an extraordinary film. You don't have to be a sci-fi fan in order to appreciate it either. I think people that are mainly into other genres can take something out of this one as well. I believe this movie is one of hope, but don't expect Robin Williams to be making wise cracks and one-liners here. This is one of his more serious roles and the somber mood does give the movie a depressing feel throughout a majority of the picture. But in the end, the message is a positive one. Confront the past. Confront the truth head on. It's the only way to truly move on and let go.

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April 04, 2010
Been awhile since I saw this last. I remember that the footages told a lot of the film's story. Very nice review.
March 25, 2010
Great movie review! This is one that has been sitting on my movie shelf for a while. I bought it used from a movie rental store. Hopefully I will be able to watch it soon because it sounds like a good sci-fi film...and with Robin Williams? Who would have thought!?!?
March 25, 2010
Yeah, but that was comedic. This sounds very serious. I'm always surprised when he plays a serious role without any comedy and actually does a good job!
More The Final Cut (movie) reviews
review by . March 19, 2009
The Final Cut
    In the not-so-distant future, thanks to the invention of the Zoe Implant, those who can afford the device leave behind their life stories as lived, material, good and bad, to be edited by specially trained "cutters', the result a "rememory" film to share with the world, a sanitized view of the person's history, scrubbed of negative information. Alan Hakman (Robin Williams) is an expert cutter, one of the most skilled and in demand for the excellence of his work. Accepting …
review by . May 16, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
FINAL CUT tries to be an obtuse story revolving around infant brain implants that secure memory for posterity, a process that upon death technicians known as 'cutters' can edit to present just the good parts of a person's life for their final "Rememory" service. Parents pay for the implant on their child: later grandchildren and widows/widowers celebrate the deceased in a movie that has subtracted anything negative from the manipulated departed. Sound like a good idea for a movie? Yes, and it has …
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I'm a 29 year oldwhoenjoys reviewing certainreality tv shows and scifi programming. I also post reviews on other topics every now and then as well. I enjoy being here on Lunch and interacting with … more
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About this movie


The Final Cut is a film written and directed by Omar Naim, released in 2004. The cast includes Robin Williams, James Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Christopher Britton, and Genevieve Buechner. It was produced by the Canadian production company, Lions Gate Entertainment and filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and in Berlin, Germany. The film featured original music by Brian Tyler. The story takes place in a near future in which people can pay to have their babies implanted with memory chips. These "Zoe Implants", developed by EYE Tech company, record every moment of their lives, so that they may be viewed by loved ones after one's death. The plot centers on Alan Hakman (Williams), a cutter, whose job it is to edit the Zoe footage into a feature-film length piece, called a "Rememory".

The Final Cut is about subjectivity, memory and history; posing the question, "If history is what is written and remembered, then what happens when memories are edited and rewritten?" The topic is similarly dealt with in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, wherein the protagonist works for the "Ministry of Truth", a bureaucracy charged with re-writing history so as to reflect the current stance of Big Brother.

The film won the award for best screenplay at the Deauville Film Festival and was nominated for best film at the Catalonian International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.

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