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Blade Runner: The Final Cut

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Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Director:Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Hampton Fancher, David Peoples
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah
Running time: TBC mins
Certificate: 15

Arriving onto selected cinema screens and DVD is Blade Runner - The Final Cut. If you haven't already seen this absolute masterpiece, then it's worthwhile tracking down a cinema showing it just to marvel at the luscious visuals on a big screen. Admittedly though, this movie would still be a work of genius if viewed on a mobile phone in black and white.

Charting the attempts of cop Deckard (Harrison Ford) to track down and 'retire' several rogue superhuman replicants in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, Blade Runner: The Final Cut effectively retains the same narrative as the earlier Director's Cut. The most noticeable addition of this new version is a slightly extended unicorn dream sequence that further supports the argument that Deckard isn't as human as he might think. "It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?"

The Final Cut's print is lovely and crisp and the utterly masterful score by Vangelis has never sounded better. Both images and sound finely blend together a sense of 'future noir', with Ridley Scott's pre-apocalyptic vision never looking so good. From the opening shots of fireballs billowing through the hellish Los Angeles skyline, to the achingly ambiguous closing shot of Deckard picking up the origami unicorn - this is one of the few genuine timeless classics of cinema.

Oddly enough, the 1992 Director's Cut wasn't actually assembled by Ridley Scott, who was busy filming Thelma And Louise driving off a cliff at that time. Instead, it was put together by workers at Warner Bros using Scott's original workprint and intended vision of the film, without the intrusive narration, tacked-on happy ending and generical conventions that the artistically bankrupt execs forced upon the poor film for its original ill-fated release in 1982.

The performances from the cast are as magnificent as ever, particularly Rutger Hauer as the Aryan replicant Roy Batty. His final soliloquy on the rooftop is as moving as ever and should never be lost in the minds of cinemagoers, unlike those tears in the rain.

A very rare example of all the disparate elements of a film converging into one outstanding whole, Blade Runner: The Final Cut may have only minor cosmetic enhancements to the last version 15 years ago, but ranks as the definitive edition of Ridley Scott's masterpiece. Well, until the Blade Runner: The Ultimate Definitive Boom Operator's Cut is unleashed anyway.


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