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Twenty five years after its original cinematic release, director Ridley Scott releases “The Final Cut” for the movie Blade Runner, supposedly his real vision for the film. When filming back in 1982 the film suffered from a number of pressures, an imminent strike by Hollywood technicians forced them to rush completion which should have relieved pressure after many of the production crew were fatigued by long shoots. Some members of the crew had T-Shirts made up saying “Will Rogers Never Met Ridley Scott”, a reference to Will Rogers’ famous statement that he never met a man he didn’t like.
Long hours and hard work then should make for a grand finished product you’d think. According to numerous sources it is, The Guardian reported that in 2004, 60 scientists selected this movie as the best science fiction movie of all time. In 2008 it was ranked #6 in the American Film Institutes list of the 10 greatest films in the Sci-Fi genre and yet the movie was a box office bomb.
Set in 2019 (not the too distant future anymore) in a dystopian Los Angeles, six Replicants return to Earth. Replicants are identical to humans in every way except they are nearly indestructible, so to counter this they are only given a four year life span. The Replicants have all been sent to off-world colonies but these rouges have returned in the hope of extending their lifespan. Detective Deckard (Harrison Ford), a Blade Runner, someone whose job it is to take down the Replicants, is reluctantly put on the case. He gets romantically involved with one of them and must endure a tough battle to take them down.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the outcome of this movie, both Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford having differing opinions on if Deckard himself was a Replicant or not, I believed he was and in the long run, it makes more sense if he is. The film has been widely acclaimed for being able to picture the future, the flying cars and billboards have become a constant image for the future.
The fact of the matter is the film was a box office flop and only became popular through a cult following, sounds just like a few other science-fiction gems huh? This was my first viewing of this cult classic but I struggled to find the appeal. The pace was slow, the acting was stiff and there never was a real feel of urgency or fear.
This was “The Final Cut”, Scott’s definitive vision for the film, how he felt it should have been shot twenty five years ago. If it has taken him twenty five years to get to this point, I have to question why he bothered.