BLADE RUNNER-THE FINAL CUT
Blade Runner-The Final Cut
Losing the voiceover and happy ending of 1982’s original release and correcting the flawed corrections of The Director’s Cut of 1992, it would seem that this is the definitive version of Ridley Scott’s dystopian sci-fi classic based on Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?’ that surely everyone must be satisfied with. Totally absorbing, compelling and immersive it certainly doesn’t feel as if it could be improved upon and Scott himself has stated that this version from 2007 captures his vision of a near future environment where squalid darkness is set off against the blinding neon and technology of corporate success.
Set in a Los Angeles shrouded in perpetual darkness and constant rain- in contrast to its constant sunshine and happy demeanour reputation- and a world where replicants function as slaves in colonies in place of humans yet mirroring and expanding on human emotions. Led by Roy-a career defining performance from Rutger Hauer- a coup is staged on the Nexus 6 colony and three escapees find themselves hunted by the professional assassin Deckard , a Blade Runner whose job is to retire -execute- disobedient and insubordinate replicants who try to infiltrate the world and pass themselves off as human.
Played by Harrison Ford in an almost robotically chilling manner, Deckard himself displays characteristics of a replicant. His romantic entanglement with the beautiful Rachel, also a replicant, confirms his sympathies with these androids that similarly to humans have a limited life expectancy and selective memories; the main difference being that the replicants memories are selected for them by others whilst humans tend to choose their own.
The film essentially belongs to Hauer who gives a commanding performance and his ‘I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe’ rain drenched soliloquy which is almost Shakespearian in both its ambition and execution at the films climactic moment is a classic in its own right although Ford, Sean Young and Darryl Hannah are all also on outstanding form.
The soundtrack by Vangelis consisting of of haunted vocals, wailing saxophones and eerie synths is one of the few soundtrack/score albums which can stand alone as a classic in its own right even if you haven’t seen the film. Not that I recommend anyone doesn’t see this film however and not that I recommend anyone doesn’t see this film on the big screen and experience the gritty atmospherics which immerse you in a futuristic world of grim and frightening realities which seem even more plausible now than they did in 1982. Some films are made to be seen on the big screen and no amount of re-runs or DVD/ Blu Ray boxsets can ever capture the universe this film lets you inhabit for its duration.