Looking Back…Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)

There has been a constant fascination with science fiction. Since man started to charter the stars and wonder beyond our wildest imagination, pen put to paper has always created some grand ideas. When movies came into our lives, it wasn’t long before there were aliens, spaceships and more. Writers and directors were always coming with mad ideas of the future and how easy it will be to charter space. Loads of films have fantasy worlds, pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from the generations that will precede us. It used to be a happy image, one of hope and intellect, advancement and pride.

That is until someone thought, “maybe the future won’t be all that great, sure we’ll have lots of technology and awesome things but we are all going to miserable and it’s going to decay somewhat.”  And that seems to be the way ever since, producing a sorry state of affairs with each science fiction movie.

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Ahead of its time it seems, and certainly gaining a lot of criticism was this, Blade Runner. Luckily, we all seem to have changed our minds.

Blade Runner is based on Philip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Set in the dystopian future of 2019, human have developed highly advanced robots called replicants. Unfortunately, their use on Earth is banned and they have mostly been sent to work with off-world colonies doing menial labour. When three replicants escape, coming to Earth to seek an advancement in their technology, it is up to Rick Deckard to seek them out and stop them. Starring Harrison Ford and Daryl Hannah, this movie was universally loathed in its 1982 release but has gained high acclaim since.

Blade Runner is a combination of beautiful film techniques, genres and an astute understanding of human emotions. Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie is an incredibly personal piece and the director used personal traumatic experiences in order to deliver a human portrayal of a technological world. Blade Runner could have been a clinical world, but alongside Dick’s imagination, Scott has draped this future with a realistic misery. Using imagery, robots and the paranoia of corporations, Scott has utilised the emotional internal plight alongside the shallow external shell of dystopia to create a vivid and shocking science fiction movie.

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That is, if you watch the movie the way Scott would have wanted it. As it has been mentioned on Cracked, when Hollywood got their mitts on it, they added so much that it was detrimental to the films ending. Seeing them drive off into an idyllic landscape with a sweeping narration actually hinders all that went before it. Crushing the dark atmospheric that had been set up before hand, this ending is a vapid and soulless ending that feels more like a madman’s rambling than have actual meaning. If you catch the director’s cut or indeed the final cut, you will see how it was intended be; a cliff hanger movie that hints at Deckard being a replicant and an unweary future for a runaway android.

Still haunting now, Blade Runner has defined the original critics on release and become a legendary film, now earning back what was previously lost. It is iconic for many reasons including a spectacular speech by Rutger Hauer’s villainous Roy (because Hauer is genius at delivering heart pounding moments.)  Breathtaking, brilliant and beyond beautiful, Blade Runner is a testament on putting soul into a machine.

Blade Runner (The Final Cut) hits Picturehouses this evening! 
Watch it at The Ritzy! 

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