The Final Cut (2004)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V-3 ; L-3 ; S/N-2

The Final Cut

If he keeps up this type of solemn role (as in One Hour Photo), Robin Williams is going to make us forget that he was the zany Mork or the voice of the Genie in Aladdin. The premise of this sci-fi story is that in the future everyone will want to have what is called a Zoe implanted in the brains of their children, the tiny camera then recording everything that the person sees, from birth to death. This gives rise to new group of professionals called “Cutters,” highly trained film editors who, when a person dies, sort quickly through the immense amount of footage to come up with a Rememory, a two-hour video that captures all the great moments of a person’s life for showing at the service. Alan W. Hakman (Williams) is considered the best, so when a wealthy man dies and another, more squeamish cutter declines to edit the man’s sordid life, the widow is directed to Hakman. In talking with the man’s little daughter and in looking at footage from the implant, it becomes obvious that the rich man had molested the girl. This, of course, will be edited out of the final cut. Not everyone approves of the implant process. Fletcher (James Caviezel) leads a group who protest at every memorial service, calling out that we should remember for ourselves. They argue that a person who knows that everything he or she says and does is being recorded will not act naturally. An interesting point—is morality based on fear or sincere conviction?—though they forget that President Nixon said some terrible things all the while knowing that his conversations were being taped. Fletcher pursues Hakman, wanting the implant for his own group to use in their campaign. The climax is a long way from a Patch Adams type of film, director/writer Omar Naim leaving the viewer with plenty to ponder.