Blade Runner: The Final Cut

I hate writing about movies like this, that so many people have already seen and have opinions on. I always feel like people expect certain things to be said, you know? I don't really want to just restate everything we already know about today's movie, though. I watched Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982. I actually have never seen the theatrical version with the Harrison Ford narration. I saw the rushed director's cut, and then The Final Cut, when it made it's way through theaters in my area. I finally bought it on Blu-ray a week or so ago, and it was great watching it like that.

I always think about seeing Blade Runner in the theater whenever I watch it. It was such a fun experience, to see the film finally on the big screen, my friend, a Blade Runner super fan, whispering little tidbits of information into my ear the whole time. It was really a good night, and I can't help but remember it whenever I watch the film. Watching it tonight was nice, but nowhere near as cool looking or fun. It's a great movie, though, no matter how you see it (er, as long as it's the good version)



Do I need to explain the plot? Deckard is a Blade Runner, a skilled fighter trained to "retire" replicants. These are robots who look and act exactly like humans, even developing human emotions. They are sent to off-world colonies to do hard labor, but occasionally escape, because they are so aware. He is tasked to retire 4 replicants who have come to earth seeking their maker to extend their lives. There is more to the story - such as the plot where Deckard falls in love with Rachael, a replicant. And the ever-present question of who is really human. There are certainly more than enough signs that everyone is not who we think they are.

I would go into some long debate about the issue, but I know enough people who have probably never seen this film. I don't really blame them, it hasn't been the most easy thing to follow, what with all the versions. I know we had to watch it in a film class to study the film noir aspects, and most of the kids had never seen it. It's not really a good thing, but I don't want to really just ruin the film for everyone by assuming everyone has seen the film. And, uh, when haven't we read debates about who is human in Blade Runner? It's not really so interesting to read it a 420935th time, is it?

I love that the film is basically film noir meet sci-fi. It doesn't sound like it would work very well together, but it really does. There is something about the moody and dark aesthetic of film noir that works so well for a dsytopia. Both genres show the seedy side of things, the hard, murky, and morally corrupt parts of life. I guess it makes sense that they work so well together here. I love the world that Scott creates. It's really strange, but somehow I can always suspend disbelief and accept it.

It's easy to question the logic of the film. I think everyone who has seen the movie has done this, myself included. As Ebert says, why didn't they just make the replicants look different than humans? Maybe, he speculates, Tyrell has some sort of sinister plan. Maybe he does! I often wonder why, if the Blade Runners (or, er, spoiler alert....at least one of them) are replicants, they don't seem to (as far as we know) be quite as strong as the other replicants. If it's their job to go around retiring powerful replicants, you would think that they could jump a little farther, hit a little harder. Maybe a sacrifice in strength is the price that the newer generation had to pay to live longer and possibly remain ignorant. Who knows! Actually, probably someone on the internet knows and will leave many a nasty comment for me. Anyway, I think I love this movie because while there are weird gaps in the logic, they're fun to think about and speculate about. It's not like, "durr, stupid Blade Runner, that could never happen," as much as you just find yourself wondering why things are the way they are. Maybe that's just me. I really like that, though.

I'm really picky and irritating about sci-fi, but I really love Blade Runner. It's an interesting movie to think about, and it has such a cool blend of genres. I think I'm probably lucky to have never seen the infamous theatrical version - maybe I would have had a harder time loving the film. I love the rich dystopia that Scott created, and how it somehow make sense and no sense at all at the same time. I really appreciate that Scott was able to re-release the film and not mess with the effects, either, like some hacky directors we know. It's one of the coolest neo-noir movies. Perhaps I love it because it reminds me so much of noir. I just like it, it works for me. If you haven't seen it, it's worth checking out - but uh, only The Final Cut, I would say. Because that's the one I like, and I'm obviously an expert. :p

Links:
Ebert's Great Movie Essay on Blade Runner
Buy it on Amazon
She Wants Revenge - Rachael (I normally hate these doofy YouTube videos of songs that have badly edited pictures of vaguely related things as the video, and it will probably get taken down soon, but this is a cool song, made by a sort of club-y, goth-y, darkwave-y band named She Wants Revenge, about Blade Runner, so that's pretty fun. My interests combined!)

Cabiria

The Big Red One