The jury might be out on whether Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece really needed any more tinkering, but if there's a film that can take a tweak or two and emerge with its integrity intact, it's Blade Runner. Twenty five years after its original release, the boldly titled and definitive-sounding Final Cut has arrived, and thankfully, it boasts editorial polishes and technical upheavals that'll have George Lucas dashing back to the cutting room.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the year is 2019, and LA is playing unwitting host to a group of escaped synthetic humans called replicants. Bred for slavery on off-world colonies and outlawed on earth, these illegal immigrants are hunted by Blade Runners, and Rick Deckard, played with frazzled conviction by Harrison Ford, has the task of 'retiring' them. What follows is a visually stunning and thematically dense future noir that delves deep into what it means to be human.
"STILL GOT IT"
The Final Cut's refinements range from the subtle (more replicant eye-glinting) to the more obvious (the 'retirement' of the replicant Zhora looks much more realistic, while their creator Tyrell meets a much bloodier end). Surprisingly, they all add weight to a film already bulging with multi-layered intrigue. However, the biggest bonus is the print, which has been completely rebuilt to render a vision of staggering beauty. Everything - from neon-daubed streets to the scorched sky itself - looks gorgeous, and no amount of TV re-runs could ever compete with seeing this on the big screen.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut is out in the UK on 23rd Nov 2007.