Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Final Cut

2004, US, directed by Omar Naïm

The least successful of a string of more 'serious' movies that Robin Williams made a couple of years ago, The Final Cut boasts a reasonably interesting sci-fi premise - imagining a future in which humans can have their memories implanted on a chip, with the creation of a final, sanitised version after death - that is betrayed by poor execution. Given the short running time and the plot confusions, there's a strong sense that the film was trimmed from a more expansive version, although another 30 minutes of this stuff hardly seems appealing. Williams plays a 'cutter', someone who does the post-mortem memory editing, but it's almost impossible to care about someone who spends the entire film with one fixed expression (Williams's standard 'melancholy' face; it takes a much stronger director to coax a proper performance from him). Various larger themes are raised, but given little serious exploration, and the end result is a frustrating might-have-been.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States