Blade Runner: Director’s Cut

What more can be said about Blade Runner that hasn’t already been covered in the past three decades?

The first thing I’ll point out is it that requires deep thinking to understand and appreciate. It’s extremely philosophical and thematic that its quality will be lost on those who draw a blank at anything that’s a bit “out there”. That’s why it didn’t do well at the box office when it hit cinemas back in 1982 because it couldn’t find the right audience. Now, it’s considered a sci-fi classic, oozing the types of unanswered questions that have likely kept die-hard fans up at night many times over the years.

harrison ford in blade runner

Seven different versions of the film exist, but the director’s cut is usually the recommended one to see, as it removes the “happy ending” and voiceover, both of which are in the theatrical release. The director’s cut is the one I saw, but whatever version you watch, you’ll likely have the same overall opinion. In any case, you’ll be pulled into Blade Runner‘s world as soon as you hear the eerie synth sounds in the opening scenes. We’re in a dystopian, futuristic LA with a neo-noir detective story at the heart of the film.

Ford’s character Rick Deckard is a former “blade runner” whose job was to hunt down humanoid robots, called replicants. Four are on Earth illegally, having escaped from an off-world colony, so Deckard is thrown back into action when he accepts one last job to find and kill the replicants. As he tracks down the escapees, the city becomes a character in itself and we see that LA has turned into a degenerate nightmare.

The air is polluted, the streets are riddled with poverty and there’s no real sense of authority. Ridley Scott’s set/costume design and visual effects are brilliant, still holding up, even in the face of today’s CGI filled blockbusters.

Blade Runner Review

Blade Runner is effortlessly cool. We can talk forever about the themes and allegories explored, but we can’t ignore how stylish this film is. It has the kind of visual atmosphere that’s intriguing to the eye. It’s like a cinematic drug because it’s such a mentally stimulating experience and the style is imprinted in many other sci-films. For example, you can see Blade Runner’s visual, neo-noir influence in The Matrix, which is also about man/machines and what it means to be human.

So for a film about androids, Blade Runner is a distinctly human story. That’s what makes it great. The replicants have been totally constructed by someone else, which calls to question the nature of identity in the first place. Here’s a quote from Oscar Wild, which I think is similar to the point Blade Runner is trying to make:

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

It’s depressing but I love this quote and Blade Runner very much alludes to it. But deep ponderings aside, it’s the greatness of the story, the stunning imagery and moral questions that keep the film playing on our minds.

Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner

Overall:

An enduring film that is brilliantly directed with an innovative approach. Is the life of a replicant similar to our own? See for yourself, then go watch the sequel!

Trailer:

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: Hampton Fancher, David Peoples and Phillip K. Dick (based on the novel by)

Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Run Time: 117 minutes.

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Liam

5 thoughts on “Blade Runner: Director’s Cut

  1. I watched the final cut in theaters the night before 2049. I’m not sure what the difference between the director’s cut and final cut are, but my boyfriend said he wasn’t a fan of the final cut. I think prior to that I’d seen the theatrical cut…but that was nearly 15 years ago. So many cuts…so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blade Runner is definitely stylish, philosophical and influencial, as you say. One of my favorite films and favorite soundtracks.

    To answer Courtney’s question. The difference between 117 min 2007 final cut and 116 min 1992 director’s cut is minimal. The final cut contains a longer version of the unicorn dream and additional violence in some key moments. Plus, as you point out, technical improvements, the picture quality is sharper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why it’s one of your favourite films and soundtracks. Oh I see, so there’s just an additional bit of detail in the final cut then. Sounds cool.

      Like

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