DVD of the Week: Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)

Deckard

I don’t remember when I first saw Blade Runner… I know it was in the theater… possibly first run… but I do know that I cannot imagine a world without Blade Runnerin it.  Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction masterpiece based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was so visually striking when it was released that it has spawned countless imitators, endless debate and undying love from it’s legion of fans… myself being one of those fans.

Depicting a Los Angeles in the near future that at the time seemed like the logical direction L.A. was heading… filthy, depressing, wet and devoid of natural life… the film tells the story of one cop… a blade runner named Rick Deckard who must hunt down and “retire” four rogue replicants who are in L.A. illegally.  In the ensuing versions… the original theatrical release, the director’s cut, the real director’s cut and now the “final cut”… certain questions have arisen… the most important of these being, is Deckard himself a replicant?

The answer is tricky, and still debatable.  Ask Harrison Ford… the answer is no.  Read the Dick novel, the answer is no.  I don’t know what Scott’s answer would be… but the latest version points very much to yes… he is a replicant.  And I’m not just saying that w/r/t to the unicorn dream and Gaff’s final origami (I realize this makes no sense to anyone who hasn’t seen the film… but if you haven’t seen it by now… chances are this post won’t change your mind… but it should… really, see this), I recently learned of another clue… replicants have a certain reflective quality to their eyes… like a cat.  In one brief flash, you see reflectiveness in Deckard’s eyes…

The novel the film is based on is odd… not at all like the film.  The novel gets into a religion called Mercerism… Deckard is married… and all sorts of other oddities… the film is truly the vision of Ridley Scott.  After flooring us with Alien he brought Blade Runner to the masses… and for those two films alone I believe he belongs in the pantheon of great directors.  Scott is currently working on what was originally thought to be a prequel to Alien called Prometheus, but now it’s apparently only tangentially related to Alien.  I’m excited.

If you haven’t seen Blade Runner, I have to seriously recommend this.  Perhaps you won’t like it… it is in a way a bit of an art film… but see Harrison Ford at his best… Sean Young pre-crazy… Rutger Hauer pre-bloat… Daryl Hannah pre-mermaid… and music so dated yet so perfect by Vangelis.  It’s an amazing story told in a masterful way.  Beautiful, haunting, dark and imposing… science fiction at it’s best.

So as always… buy it, rent it or stream it… just see this movie… and make sure it’s The Final Cut.

What’s a tortoise?
Cornelius J. Blahg

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