Lately, I have been reviewing films that are more fantasy than science fiction. This is good, since I like to talk about speculative fiction films that discuss how technology can change society, and it usually isn’t in a good way.
The Final Cut would probably be one of those, but I don’t think I feel comfortable classifying it as science fiction. I mean, it takes place in the future, and it deals with advanced technology (tech we don’t yet have). The Final Cut doesn’t show a future of flying cars or towering buildings, but it does have an interesting film noir look. Most of the technology is made of wood and glass, and I guess the best comparison would be Gattaca, which maybe I’ll discuss at some other time.
The Final Cut is about Robin Williams, and he plays a guy that has some inner joy that is not understood by the society around him and is therefore shunned. No, but that is his movie formula. In this film, he plays a really sad, sad guy. Seriously, I don’t think he smiles once, and I just know he was repressing one of his horrific stream-of-consciousness routines.
Anyway, Williams plays a cutter, a guy who essentially takes taped videos from memory implants and edits them together for a final viewing funeral or “Rememory”. This is a pretty far-out premise, and the film begins with three laws, like an Isaac Asimov robot story. In all honesty, it sort of confused me. Oh, before these laws, there is a scene where a child Robin Williams took part in killing another kid.
One day, when Williams is editing some guy’s footage and discovers that the kid he supposedly help kill has grown up to be an adult. Yes, it is pretty weird that he recognizes him as an adult, but apparently, this kid’s death had always haunted him and he spends the rest of the film trying to find out who this mystery man is.
Mixed up in this plot are people who protest against this new memory implant technology. These people wear tattoos that block their memory implants, so their memories will never be put on tape. I actually see that as a realistic response to this conjectured technology, and this is one of many plot twists in this film.
I found this film was somewhat hard to follow, but I can’t say that I hated it. I’m not exactly in a rush to watch it again to catch things that I missed last time. I think it is a brilliant concept for a film, but it doesn’t look like it well-remembered.