Final Cut

 Final Cut
Original title:Coupez !
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Running time:110 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
A zombie movie shoot in a disused building. Between jaded technicians and actors not really concerned, only the director seems invested with the necessary energy to give life to an umpteenth low-budget horror movie. The irruption of authentic undead will disrupt the shooting...

Mulder's Review

Some films are almost a suicide mission, as they confront certain directors with cultural challenges as much as with preformatted molds in which cinematographic works must most often respond to marketing diktats that crush a director's vision to maximize the profitability of an artistic creation. Final cut is not content to be a simple shot-by-shot adaptation of Shin'ichirō Ueda's One Cut of The Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017). It certainly takes up almost its course but is rather intended to be its extension but also a thinly disguised satire of the film industry in which the cracking of lead actors or directors seem to have become a normality in the face of omnipresent stress. Yet Final Cut manages to offer another version of Shin'ichirō Ueda's ferocious masterpiece. While the film of the latter was really oriented towards the horror film with its share of zombies and especially managed to destabilize the viewers by wondering what was really real facts or the shooting of a horror film Z broke with special effects lacking means and acting surrealist.

On closer inspection, this film is very similar in its approach to the cult film C'est arrivé près de chez nous by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel and Benoît Poelvoorde, in which apprentice directors shoot a documentary on a serial killer. We discover here a team that shoots a zombie film with little financial means and a very small crew.  Coupez is not only an irresistible comedy but also benefits from a scenario with different levels of reading by its willingness to show how a film is built but also the different difficulties that can occur during the shooting.

Michel Hazanavicius proves once again to be able to surprise us even if his film starts like Shin'ichirō Ueda's with a long sequence shot as risky as it is impressive, creating a real immersion in the middle of horror, capturing the spectators from the very first minutes and never letting go of their attention afterwards. However, the director understood that making a remake is certainly an exercise in real style but it is also necessary to bring new ideas and this film does not lack them. Thus, it is Japanese who come to ask with the intervention of a producer and long-time friend of the director Rémi (Romain Duris perfect as in each of his films) to make a remake entitled Z (like Zombie) and shoot in real time for a TV channel. 

In the same way, Michel Hazanavicius does not hesitate to caricature the Japanese cinema and to propose dialogues that hit the nail on the head every time. We can also appreciate the presence of a perfect cast with the superb and excellent actress Bérénice Béjo (as a former actress who had to replace at the last minute the main actress of Z) and the careful supporting roles played by Matilda Lutz, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Sébastien Chassagne, Raphaël Quenard and Lyes Salem. By taking this film in a different direction than the original, notably by avoiding the pitfall of a simple horror film and favoring the satire of the film industry, Michel Hazanavicius proves once again that he is a gifted director with an unparalleled mastery of comedy. We would so much like French comedies to take risks like this film does.

It's impossible not to remember George A Romero's cult film Night of the Living Dead, which was shot on a budget of one hundred and fourteen thousand dollars and managed to establish itself not only in the eyes of the critics but also in the eyes of the public as a cult film and the best zombie film of all time. This film permanently reflects the director's desire to pay tribute to the American horror comedies that have marked our memories. We will think in particular of Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) to succeed in making us fear and laugh at the same time. While often in horror films the recurring weakness is the acting of uninspired actors, Michel Hazanavicius delivers here a model of the genre but has perfectly assimilated what should be an excellent horrific comedy and the many dialogues of the composer Fatih played by Jean-Pascal Zadi, constantly hit the bull's eye. As such, while the film is intended to be a parody of horror films broke, the director benefits from the presence of an excellent composer Alexandre Desplat.

Definitely Final Cut is one of the must-see films of this year and we can only advise you to discover it in theaters without delay. The fact that this film is the opening film of the 75th Cannes Film Festival is both a strong message to French cinema to get out of its consensualism and its lack of risk-taking. 

Final Cut
Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Produced by Brahim Chioua, Michel Hazanavicius and Vincent Maraval
Based on the original screenplay of Don't Cut! by Shin'ichirō Ueda 
With Romain Duris , Matilda Lutz , Bérénice Bejo , Luàna Bajrami , Finnegan Oldfield , Grégory Gadebois, Jean-Pascal Zadi , Sébastien Chassagne, Charlie Dupont, Lyes Salem, Agnès Hurstel, Yumi Narita, Yvon Martin : Gaby
Music : Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography : Jonathan Ricquebourg
Edited by Mickael Dumontier 
Production companies: Getaway Films, La Classe Américaine
Distributed by La Pan Européenne
Release date: May 17, 2022 (France)
Running time : 110 minutes

Seen on May 17, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 14 seat A19

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