Film

Film

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Strained and somnolent, this sci-fi melodrama posits a near future where prenatal implants record everything someone sees. After death, these lifelong first-person home movies are stripped of all unpleasantness and edited into feel-good filmic eulogies by professional “cutters.” Robin Williams plays one such final cut pro, aptly named Hakman. He earns his living excising the dead’s dark secrets, and is correspondingly tormented by one of his own. Omar Naim’s meditation on literally photographic memory owes a lot to virtual-reality science fiction (Strange Days is a nastier, far superior analogue), but the director’s leaden touch and the plot’s insistent banality obscure any conceptual resonance. Pressing on in grimly introverted One Hour Photo mode, Williams only stirs nostalgia for his slapstick days (ghastly ’90s roles notwithstanding)—he’s such a natural-born ham he manages to overdo understatement.

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