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Blade Runner (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on May 27, 2013

I’m just gonna do another random thoughts review because, hey, it’s Blade Runner.  One of the most widely discussed films, especially among the internet crowd.

So… I decided to watch the theatrical release this time.  I hadn’t done that in at least 10 years, but it’s the version I grew up with and fell in love with.  There are numerous technical fixes in the “Final Cut” version, but the two most commonly loathed features of the original are the “happy ending” and the narration.  I agree, the original studio-mandated ending sucks in comparison.  One of the worst things that frequently pops up in classic film noir is terrible endings that wrap everything up nicely, everything works out okay in the end, no matter how tonally out of step it is from the rest of the movie.

But one of the great things about classic noir is the voice-over.  Granted, Deckard’s narration isn’t that great but it’s not that bad, either.  Okay, the bit about “skin jobs” is awful, but the rest of it is just fine.  Maybe it’s because I’m a noir junkie or maybe it’s because this is the version I’m most familiar with, but the voice-over really doesn’t bother me at all.  There also isn’t all that much of it.  I admit that none of it is necessary, but I’m fine with its being there.

In my first rewatch review, I said that the “Deckard is a replicant” theory adds an intriguing layer.  In my second rewatch review, I said it doesn’t really make much difference.  I don’t know what I was smoking then, but I was right the first time.  It really does give the script added dimensions, and I’m grateful for the enhancements made to flesh out this possibility.

After 25-odd years of being a fan of the film, I still haven’t read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and I have no excuse.  My wife has it, it’s on the shelf three feet away from me.  I’ve been on a true crime binge lately, but I swear after I finish the book I’m currently reading, it will be next.  It’s long overdue.

I’m still not crazy about Roy Batty.  His speech at the end is great, but the minutes leading up to it may be my least favorite part of the movie.  He just doesn’t do a lot for me, the whole calm-but-nutty thing isn’t my cup of tea.

It goes without saying, really, but the cinematography and art direction are absolutely astonishing, and the Vangelis score is gorgeous.  Maybe even more impressive than its compelling thematic context is the film’s ability to establish mood.  It totally sucks you into its atmosphere.

Well, now I’m merely stating the obvious so I’m just gonna end it here.  Rating: Great (94)

IMDb
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