Remi’s feelings about making a zombie movie are quickly sublimated into the process of making a zombie movie. He paces up and down naturally lit hallways and staircases, either fills in or delegates last-minute problem-solving, and generally tries to keep everybody happy. He especially wants to please his wife and daughter Romy (Simone Hazanavicius, the real director’s daughter), who loves Raphael and is also very opinionated about authenticity. They race about the camera, put out various fires, and feverishly think on their feet in ways that will maybe re-orient how viewers see the zombie movie that begins “Final Cut.” Now it’s not just another schlocky potboiler—it’s a team effort, a hectic but thrilling high-wire act, a relay race, and a work-for-hire nightmare all in one.
Duris’ wired performance seems emblematic of the movie’s hectic mood, but much of the movie’s comedy dies on the vine, given how deliberately stretched out the movie’s pregnant pauses and dead air now feel. “Final Cut” feels long, even if it’s only about 12 minutes longer than “One Cut of the Dead.” However, that extra legwork does not confer greater depth, nor does this sort of high-concept stunt play to its cast or writer/director’s comedic strengths.
Some of the familiar and faithfully recreated twists and turns of the original “One Cut of the Dead” still land here, but not enough to make this leaden remake seem endearing or zany enough to pick through. By spoon-feeding movie lovers an overcaffeinated sendup of the filmmaking process, Hazanavicius and the gang have only dumped a bunch of pre-solved homework into viewers’ laps, leaving us to keep up as they cheerlessly show all their work.
Now playing in theaters.