Blade Runner’s ‘best’ cut damaged the movie in critical ways

Blade Runner’s Final Cut is often considered the definitive version of the film, but it subtly spoils some of the film’s crucial ambiguity.

Many believe that Ridley Scott final cut of blade runner is the best version of this extraordinary and hugely influential sci-fi thriller, but it actually damaged the film in a critical way. While Scott’s immaculate version of the film makes his dark and dystopian views of Los Angeles 2019 look more impressive than ever, quietly tightens up the special effects and fixes some technical errors, this version also removes some of the ambiguity relating to the long running time. of the movie. debated the riddle of whether the protagonist of Harrison Ford’s Replicant Hunt, Deckard, is actually human.


Adapted from famous science fiction writer Philip. K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do androids dream of electric sheep?, blade runner was first released in cinemas in the summer of 1982 in two versions – a theatrical release in the United States and a more violent international release. They were met with mixed critical reception and disappointing box office returns. Over the ensuing decades, Scott has sought to return to film numerous times in order to fully realize what he and his collaborators originally intended. The first significant revision came in the form of 1992 Director’s Cut which omitted Harrison Ford’s studio-required storytelling and superficially upbeat ending while planting the idea that Deckard may not actually be human. Later, 2007 final cut would make the aforementioned improvements and push the notion of “Deckard-being-a-replicant” further. However blade runnerThe theatrical cut has its defenders, Christopher Nolan among them, most agree that the best version of the film is somewhere between blade runnerit is Director’s Cut and The final cut.

Related: Blade Runner’s Multiple Cuts & Differences Explained

As evidenced by numerous interviews, Scott firmly believes that Deckard is a replicant – a belief that runs counter to Ford’s take on the character. As a result, with each revised iteration of blade runnerScott gradually cleared up any ambiguity regarding this particular mystery when left perfectly poised in the 1992 Director’s Cut. In this version, there are subtle indicators such as Deckard not appearing in any of the photos of his apartment, the somewhat condescending praise from his colleague Gaff (Edward James Olmos) -“You made a man work sir“-and blade runnerRoy Batty’s sympathetic antagonistic replicant (Rutger Hauer) inexplicably knows Deckard’s name. The most vital clue, however, comes with the unicorn motif. In this version, the unicorn invades Deckard’s reverie as it gallops through the mist and then later reappears as an origami model left behind by Gaff; a sneakily disturbing communication by the powers that be to Deckard that they know what’s on his mind.

The final cut embellishes this fundamental aspect of the enigma to the point where it feels like Scott is imposing an unequivocal vision on it rather than allowing the audience to question it for themselves. Through the minimal editing and dreamlike atmosphere of the previous sequence in the controlled studio of 1992 Director’s Cut Deckard version blade runner the unicorn dream is allowed to be planted in the audience’s subconscious as much as it seems to be part of theirs. It comes out of nowhere and Deckard himself doesn’t notice it or just dismisses it. In the final cut, however, the awkward editing and close-ups of Deckard’s reactions dispel some of the ambiguity. By showing Deckard that he fully acknowledges what he is going through, it also goes against the idea that a replicant wouldn’t question his own memories and thoughts while questioning why Deckard doesn’t. never question the instance again.

It’s a small difference from the 1992 version, but it certainly has an impact when it comes to something that’s still essentially meant to be ambiguous. Although 2017’s highly anticipated sequel Blade Runner 2049 managed to carefully unbox, explore and preserve this fascinating cinematic enigma, Blade Runner: The final cut, for all the good it did, still rests a little awkwardly on the subject. Plus, forcing the audience to think about what is essentially a side issue subtracts from the more fundamental concern of whether audiences would sympathize with Deckard if he were a replicant or not. As pristine as Jhe final cut is therefore essentially the “Nexus” version of blade runner; he tries to impersonate his truest iteration, but he ultimately fails the Voight-Kampff test.

Next: Why Harrison Ford Changed His Mind About Blade Runner

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