Final Cut (2022)

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Running Time: 111 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Lutz, Sébastien Chassagne, Raphaël Quenard, Lyes Salem, Simone Hazanavicius, Agnès Hurstel, Charlie Dupont, Luàna Bajrami, Raïka Hazanavicius, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Yoshiko Takehara

After it's 2017 release in Japan, Shin'ichirō Ueda's One Cut of The Dead was a phenomenally crafted breath of fresh air for the zombie subgenre. Recommendations passed around carefully, ensuring the directions taken were preserved for further viewers to see why it was so magnificent. A remake was inevitable, although it comes from France with Academy-Award winning director Michel Hazanavicius taking the reins. After The Artist, the writer/director delivers another love-letter to filmmaking through an intense production on a zombie film.

Within an abandoned building, the shoot for a low-budget zombie movie is falling apart. The abusive director (Romain Duris) pushes the cast and crew with his hostile behaviour, yet that issue seems miniscule when zombies interrupt the shoot courtesy of an ancient curse. The same structure is followed as the original, while adding a meta element regarding remakes.

Central to the unfolding narrative is Duris' director, trying to persevere through the difficulties while determined to get the necessary shots however possible. Laughs pop-up through the tale, particularly when the sound engineer's work intrudes during inconvenient moments, and there's some impact to the central relationship.

Part of the originals charm was how scrappy it felt, particularly in the first-act which used public-domain sound effects. This remake tries too hard to recapture that in artificial ways, and that's best shown in the use of Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis. While Hazanavicius hits the same beats as the original, it's too hollow to work which leaves revelations landing with less effectiveness than they deserve.

The director's motto for making a film "Cheap, Fast, and Decent" recurs throughout, which is bitterly ironic when this remake was more expensive, longer, and worse than the original. Judged on its own merits, this French film is a great idea hampered by a lacklustre execution. To see the premise done right, the Japanese original is available to watch from many places.

Final Cut is available on Digital Platforms now