Title: Final Cut
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Romain Duris, Berenice Bejo, Matilda Lutz
Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes
What it is: Final Cut is a French remake of the Japanese comedy horror movie: One Cut of the Dead. In it, a film crew is trying to make a zombie movie . . . but then find themselves amidst a zombie apocalypse! Things only get more meta from there . . .
What We Think: If you love schlocky b-horror films, you will love this movie. If you like silly situations where everything can go wrong in humorous ways, you will love this movie. If you love movies, you will love this movie. Final Cut is a love letter to campy b-horror flicks and film-making itself. As a life-long lover of campy horror films, I cannot stress how much the first half and final sequence got me laughing. Trying to find a way to not spoil this movie will be hard but I will do my best to not give away some of the twists. All I can say is if you have seen the Japanese version, you know which twist I am talking about. The movie is almost like two different movies in the way it is filmed: a goofy zombie flick and a film about a struggling low-budget filmmaker attempting to make a movie. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of the 90s movie Bowfinger, in that a lot of its best comedic moments were very meta and were hilarious because of that. Decent chunks of the film were lovably goofy and made it a very enjoyable flick.
Romain Duris, who plays the lead character, is extremely charming as the main filmmaker the film focuses on. At times he is heartfelt and sympathetic, at other times he is understandably on the brink of losing it. It is legitimately enjoyable to watch him switch between lovable family man and raving lunatic. The supporting cast all deliver solid performances too, rounding out the cast in this very hilarious film. The cinematography in both styles the movie has to offer run seamlessly and I can only imagine how much certain sequences had to be rehearsed to get just right.This film looks amazing and the directing is spot on. As far as how as Final Cut compares to the film it is remaking, I cannot comment on that since I have yet to see the original myself. However, for a fresh audience unfamiliar with the original, it holds up and is very endearing.
The only real negative I could see possibly with this movie is that midway through the film there is a slightly awkward pacing issue. The very middle of the movie slows down for some fairly obvious story reasons and it feels like the movie has to restart itself and catch back up to the momentum it had in the first half. It’s understandable in terms of storytelling and I don’t think the dip in pacing was necessarily avoidable with how the plot is structured; however, I do feel it is worth mentioning. Highly recommend that the viewer stick through the slower bits, though, because the final sequence is such an enjoyable laugh riot and the middle establishes everything that happens in it.
Our Grade: A, despite a small pacing issue which I think comes due to just how the story is structured, this movie is enjoyable from start to finish. If you are an aspiring filmmaker, you need to watch this film. I also think that anyone who has ever gotten enjoyment from watching extremely campy and ridiculous horror films will love this as well. Final Cut delivers in gore and hilarity.