The Final Cut (2004)

DailyView: Day 305, Movie 432

This was the third of the films I found free on YouTube when I was awake late at night last week. I have always been a huge fan of Robin Williams and any time he was in a film, I was interested. The Rotten Tomatoes score was lower, but I was still going to give this a chance. Turned out that The Final Cut was better than the score indicated.

Robin Williams played Alan Hakman, a cutter, in this sci-fi film where people are able to purchase implants from EYE Tech, which records all of their memories during their lives. When they passed away, Cutters would take the implant and cut the memories that were less desirable and create a memorial for family at a funeral.

Alan specialized in taking the worst people and creating a positive memorial out of their memories, essentially getting rid of the dark or disgusting memories.

When Charles Bannister (Michael St. John Smith), one of the main people behind the EYE Tech company died, Hakman was given the memories by the widow, Jennifer (Stephanie Romanov). Though Bannister put a positive face to the world, there were memories that indicated that he was molesting his daughter Isabel (Genevieve Buechner). Anti-implant forces led by Alan’s friend Fletcher (Jim Caviezel) came to see Alan, demanding that he turn over Bannister’s memories so they could discredit EYE Tech. Alan refused.

As Alan was going through the memories of Bannister, he came across a memory of a man at a party given by Bannister that reminded Alan of a tragedy from his own past and started his own self-doubt.

The premise of this film was pretty solid, and actually reminded me somewhat of Reminiscence from last year with Hugh Jackman. The moral ambiguity of the job of cutter was clearly a key theme, and Hakman was anything but a hero. It was his own past life that caused him to question everything he had been doing, not the horrors that he would have seen in the memories of the killers, criminals and deviants that he saw.

Still, you can’t help but root for Robin Williams, as he continued to show that he was more than the chaotic comedian that he rode to initial fame.

Mira Sorvino played a female confidant of Alan that became more than just a friend. Mira has an interesting arc in the film, but it felt as if it were a little underwritten.

The third act ends very abruptly and might cause some to be unhappy with it. I actually found the ending to be satisfactory and to have been an ironic way to end the story. I may have wanted more but the final scene laid out a further question about the implications of using this technology and how it may have tainted people deeper than expected.

Th film is a little slow and it certainly is dark. I can see where some people may not have enjoyed this and I can understand the low Tomatometer score. I, however, found this to be a solid, although not spectacular, sci-fi story dealing with broken people.

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