Final Cut has its work cut out for it from its inception. One Cut of the Dead is one of the most creative zombie flicks of all time. It’s reputation as a cult favorite is well deserved so it is understandable that a French remake by the Academy Award winning director of The Artist would be met with hesitation and maybe even a little scorn.
Remi (Romain Duris, All the Money in the World) has been offered the opportunity to direct a zombie movie. It sounds like an interesting offer until he learns of the conditions. It will be done live for a new streaming channel. Plus, it all has to be done in one take. Remakes are difficult for a number of reasons, with audience expectations probably being at the top of the list. This is especially the case when a film is as beloved as One Cut of the Dead. Some may watch Final Cut just to negatively compare it to the source material.
Director Michel Hazanavicius gets around this by making the film his own. The core elements are still here, but Final Cut adds different character dynamics. The surprise will be lost for those who have seen the original, but there is enough chaos to keep things engaging. Final Cut is a fun chance to see how the blood sausages get made. It is a very specific type of filmmaking, but it does not take away from the enjoyment. The film is constantly calling back to its opening with the best jokes coming in the final act.
The pacing moves at a steady clip, giving insight into Remi and his family. This keeps the story going and brings unexpected heart to Final Cut. There are also some hilarious exchanges between the French director and the Japanese producers. The final moments are heartwarming and push the film beyond the realm of just another remake.
FF @ Home takes place September 29 – October 4
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