Blade Runner: The Final Cut

I caught Blade Runner: The Final Cut yesterday at the Cerrito. According to Wikipedia, this is the seventh version of the movie. I hope the powers that be respect that Final in the title–if only for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

To be fair, three of those previous cuts shouldn’t really count. Two were preview versions shown before the film’s release, and another was the censored television version. But that still leaves us with the original U.S. release version, the original international cut, and the Director’s Cut in addition to this new one.

Not that I can compare it to anything. It had been a long time since I’ve seen any version of Blade Runner, and if there are any differences between this one and the Director’s Cut, I can’t tell you what they are. (OTOH, the Director’s Cut improves on the original immensely.)

But however you cut it, this version of Blade Runner works beautifully. The art direction, special effects, and music score make this future noir (a genre that didn’t exist before Blade Runner) a standout from a decade that overflowed with big-budget sci-fi.

Based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Blade Runner is surprisingly thoughtful for ’80’s sci-fi–especially of the big budget variety. It ponders questions about the nature of humanity and our ability to objectify people when it suits our needs to do so. Yet it never preaches. The script’s hazy at times; I never did figure out some of the connections, and a couple of important things happen at ridiculously convenient times.

A great film, nonetheless, and definitely big screen fare.