Monday, 27 August 2012

Film Review: BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (1982/2007)

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - poster Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Philip K. Dick (novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”), Hampton Fancher & David Webb Peoples (screenplay)
Running time: 113 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama/Thriller
Original version: UK Release date: 9th September 1982
NOTE: This version, from 2007, is the only one over which Ridley Scott had full artistic control.

Watched on Sky+ Monday 27th August 2012.


NOTE: What follows is much of my review of the Director’s Cut of this film that I wrote back in November 2011. I have made a few additions and removed some bit to make it more relevant to this cut. Hope you enjoy it.

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 2 I have spoken to many fans of Science Fiction over the years and the vast majority of them always have something good to say about this film. Now I know there are those among you, mostly deranged people, who might hold a different view, but I am on the side of those who rate this film. I’ll even go so far as to say its right up there with the very best sci-fi films (if you ignore the original theatrical cut, which was truly awful). More of my praise after this very brief summary.

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 3 There is an opening scrolling text on this version of the film that explains the set-up better than I ever could, here it is:

“Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL
CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution
into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually
identical to a human - known as a Replicant.

The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior
in strength and agility, and at least equal
in intelligence, to the genetic engineers
who created them.

Replicants were used Off-World as
slave labour, in the hazardous exploration and
colonization of other planets.

After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6
combat team in an Off-World colony,
Replicants were declared illegal
on earth - under penalty of death.

Special police squads - BLADE RUNNER
UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon
detection, any trespassing Replicant.

This was not called execution.

It was called retirement.”

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 8 Now you’ve read that I shall continue… Four Replicants have jumped ship, killed the crew and the passengers and made it to Earth. They are; Roy Batty, Pris, Leon Kowalski and Zhora. A retired Blade Runner, Rick Deckard, is brought in to hunt down and ‘retire’ these Replicants. He is first sent to the Tyrell Corporation where he meets Rachael, a Nexus 6 Replicant. At the time she is unaware of the fact, but Dr. Eldon Tyrell assures Deckard that she’s ‘special’. Leon had badly injured another Blade Runner, Holden, and Deckard goes to Leon’s apartment where he finds a clue. Little does he know the replicants are also trying to find someone… Someone high up for whom they have some questions about themselves. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be calling me in for a Voight-Kampff test (again).

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 1 Visually stunning with a beautiful and atmospheric score by Vangelis, this film has a lot going for it (IMO). Great performances all round; Harrison Ford plays the world-weary Deckard to a tee, Rutger Hauer is excellent as the brutal but fragile Roy Batty and Sean Young plays Rachael with just the right amount of fear. Also worthy of note are; Edward James Olmos as Gaff, M. Emmet Walsh as Bryant, Daryl Hannah as Pris, William Sanderson as J.F. Sebastian, Brion James as Leon, Joe Turkel as Dr. Eldon Tyrell and Joanna Cassidy as Zhora.

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 4 This is the second time I have seen this particular cut of the film and I have to say I like it just as much as the 1992 Director’s cut even though Ridley Scott didn’t have an awful lot to do with that version. If you are interested, you can find a list of the differences between these two cuts here:

A very introspective film with all the action focused on Deckard and the Replicants without the audience really seeing much outside this group. Yes there are hints; the advertising for the off-world colonies, but apart from that it’s very insular. Moving on, I thought the effects were truly stunning, given that there was no CGI back then, although it has been used to enhance certain things in this cut, and the design, the look and the feel of the whole thing is superb. A world is created that the audience could easily imagine Los Angeles 2019 to be like… Ok, maybe not the flying cop cars, but you know what I mean. A truly excellent film that, for its day, has never been equalled.

SteelMonster’s verdict: VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

My Score: 9.5/10

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 9 IMDb Score: 8.3/10 (based on 263,718 votes at the time of going to press).

MetaScore: 88/100: (Based on 10 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 92/100 (based on 104 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 89/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 288,583 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Bryant: I need ya, Decks. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old blade runner, I need your magic.

Rachael: May I ask you a personal question?
Deckard: Sure.
Rachael: Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Deckard: No.

Deckard: She's a replicant, isn't she?
Tyrell: I'm impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
Deckard: I don't get it, Tyrell.
Tyrell: How many questions?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn't it?
Deckard: [realizing Rachael believes she's human] She doesn't know.
Tyrell: She's beginning to suspect, I think.
Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?

…and my personal favourite:

Roy: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Blade Runner - The Final Cut - 5 LINKS:
Official Site:

1 comment:

Daniel Mumby said...

Good work Andy. Just one thing though - you needn't put "(IMO)". We already know it's your opinion - and it is very highly valued :)