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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blade Runner: The Final Cut Review

Blade Runner: The Final Cut Review
2007 (theatrical cut released in 1982), 117 minutes
Rated R for violence and brief nudity

I just re-watched a version of Blade Runner tonight.  I had seen the very good director's cut years ago and then today, I started watching the theatrical cut and switched to the final cut because of the flat, lazy voice-over.  What a great decision!  This version is the version that Scott had full control over and with it, he did a great film full justice.  He changed some things here and there, but mainly, he brightened up the film.  Before, it was dark and grainy, but now (and especially because I watched the BluRay) it is vibrant, bright and crisp.  The film looks new and fresh and without the bland voice-over, the movie works well and the mysteriousness and ambiguity are there once again.  

Blade Runner works so well for so many reasons.  The acting, especially by Harrison Ford, is great and Rutger Hauer excels as the film's main villain.  The story is genius as it questions what it means to be alive and human.  The characters' humanity is prevalent in every scene and the main few are three-dimensional.  Blade Runner also does something smart and original by placing a traditional film noir plot into a sci-fi setting making this one of the greatest neo-noir films.  And, it doesn't even take place in the present or past.  While everything else gels, the best parts of the film are the special effects and production design which blend brilliantly with Vangelis' electronic score.  The special effects look as good as any that are done today and blend in some product placement very cleverly.  The production design of neon lights and grime make the world of 2019 Los Angeles really come to life. 

Overall, the "Final Cut" of Blade Runner is a must-see for those that love their sci-fi mixed with philosophy.  Seeing Blade Runner's influence on modern sci-fi films is very interesting and is especially evident when watching Luc Besson's The Fifth Element.

-Joshua Handler

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