Urban Cinefile
"I told them not to be shy about making fun of me because, of course, they must have been on a very precarious perch"  -John Malkovich on the making of Being John Malkovich
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday July 12, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



In 2019 Los Angeles, like elsewhere, many have moved to off-world colonies. To aid in the sometimes hazardous exploration of new colonies, robots known as 'replicants' were created. When a Nexus 6 (latest model) replicant combat team escapes in an off-world mutiny, all replicants are declared illegal on Earth. Their makers, the Tyrell Corporation, had given these replicants a limited four year life span but also the special human capability to form memories - and with that come, human emotions like hate, love, anger, joy. A retired but highly talented member of the 'blade runner' special ops team, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is ordered back to work to locate and 'retire' (kill) the escaped replicants known to be in the area. Meanwhile the leader of the mutineers, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), searches for his creator Elden Tyrell (Joe Turkell) to get Tyrell to extend his four year life span.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The Final Cut ... what a nice ring it has to it after a title like Blade Runner. Deeply committed fans can now gorge themselves on this 'final' version in standard DVD, HD or Blue-Ray formats. But I was one of the privileged 500 or so in the world who got to see the film in HD thanks to a Sony 4K projector on the big screen at the Hayden Orpheum in November 2007. It's 25 years since Ridley Scott and his team gave us a first glimpse at a world imagined out of Philip Dick's short story (with its airy title, Do androids dream of electric sheep?)

It was instantly accepted as a brave new world of sci-fi moviemaking, but Blade Runner is fundamentally a film noir with surreal elements and a futuristic setting. The gothic Los Angeles of 2019, symbolically in perpetual night, is teeming with rain and with people, as well as slogans and ad placards, towering blocks of buildings that defy architectural elegance for the sake of heavy industrial monoliths. Gloom is palpable. Danger is omnipresent.

Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard is forged in the tradition of hard boiled private eyes of the 40s and 50s American pulp fiction, a loner who is useful only as a kind of mercenary, chasing down the replicants who have been declared illegal. These creations of man have turned into beings who resemble far too closely our own make up ('more human than human'), rendering them dangerous as slaves and deadly as enemies.

The confrontations between Deckard and the replicants is always thrilling, notably the final, epic battle with Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty. Sean Young is luminous as Rachael, the replicant who captures Deckard's heart, and Edward James Olmos is a wonderfully enigmatic Gaff, working for the man who runs the Blade Runner task force, Bryant - a splendidly quirky characterisation by M. Emmet Walsh.

The primary subtext that underpins Dick's writing - about the essentials that make a human human - is relevant and well captured by Ridley Scott, and the film's enormous technical achievement is beautifully replicated (pardon) in this Final Cut, restored and remastered with 5.1 audio. See it on as big a screen as you can, with the best sound system at your disposal.

Published December 20, 2007

Email this article

Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

(US, 1982)

CAST: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmett Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy

PRODUCER: Michael Deeley

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

SCRIPT: Hampton Francher & David Peoples (short story be Philip K. Dick)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jordan Cronenweth

EDITOR: Terry Rawlings

MUSIC: Vangelis


RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes


SPECIAL FEATURES: Available in three versions: 2-Disc Special Edition; 5-Disc Collector's Edition; 5-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition ('Deckard Briefcase' packaging). All three versions include extensive extra features. The 5-Disc edition includes an entire disc devoted to 45 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes recently discovered, visual effects, background material on author Philip K. Dick, script development and an exploration of how the film led to the birth of cyberpunk.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: December 19, 2007

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020