[MarsApproves] Blade Runner: The Final Cut & Blade Runner 2049

Well, we are 7 days into 2020 and I’ve already watched 10 films, lol.  I didn’t think I watched a lot of movies but judging from the comments on the last post, I guess I do.  I’m thinking about posting here once in a while on what I have watched.  I won’t write about every single movie but I’ll highlight what I think is some good stuff.  Let’s see how long this lasts…

Blade Runner: The Final Cut & Blade Runner 2049

I finally got around to watching these.  I remember watching Blade Runner as a kid and hating it.  To me, Harrison Ford was Indiana Jones and Han Solo, not this quiet Deker Deckard guy who seems bored to be in a future with flying cars.  I appreciated its slower pace a lot more after re-watching it in my early teens.  Then The Director’s Cut of the film came out.  Ford’s “hard-boiled detective” style voiceovers were gone, the music was changed, and the ending was weird.  It was the only version I could find on DVD.  I hated Blade Runner again.

The Final Cut came out in 2007 but I wasn’t interested in revisiting the movie again until the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, began making the rounds on the movie channels.  They would air it and The Final Cut back to back, so I hit record on both.  I’m glad I did.  This version is apparently the only one they allowed director Ridley Scott to have complete control.  The voice-overs haven’t returned but for the first time, I was able to clearly follow the plot.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut takes place in a dystopian “future”.  November 2019 to be exact.  Harrison Ford plays a blade runner named Deckard, whose job it is to hunt down and kill retire Replicants, androids who are built to imitate humans in look and actions.  Replicants are illegal on earth.  The scientists create them with high intelligence, but over time they become more self-aware, and their ability to handle human emotions is stunted.  They are given a four-year life span as a fail-safe against them going haywire before too long but some are ahead of the curve and start causing trouble.  The story is well told as the ethics of the humans who create the Replicants and Deckard’s job to destroy them is constantly questioned.

I won’t reveal much of Blade Runner 2049‘s plot since it would spoil Blade Runner, but I can confirm it is the next logical step in Deckard’s story.  My only issue with the sequel is the length (2hr 44m) and pacing (All due respect to Ryan Gosling but it takes an hour to get to Harrison Ford).  I would have liked it a lot more if the fat was trimmed.  While watching I thought… jeez, Old Man Scott needs to listen to his editor, but as it turns out 2049 was directed by someone else.  I read in an interview with Scott where he stated how he would have cut it down by 30 minutes if given control.  Well, maybe we will see that after “Blade Runner 2049: The Final Cut” is released in 2049.

I’m positive my enjoyment of 2049 was enhanced by the fresh viewing of The Final Cut and I would have been lost otherwise.  I’d give Final Cut a spin and then try 2049 if you’re craving for more.  Both are #MarsApproved.

23 comments

    1. I agree with you, Mike. 2049 just had no point in existing. Just as Rutger Hauer said, I felt that it didn’t have a soul. The sequel director Villeneuve has also specifically said that there will be no more cuts of 2049 since the theatrical cut is his final cut. I hope Dune (2020), which he’s also directing is less dry. I’m almost certain that it’ll do awful at the box office though, and we’ll never get a part two since this movie is only covering half of the original book. We’ll be left with half the story.
      Nice write up. One quick point. The replicants actually do know what they are, except Rachel, because she’s a new model with memory implants. That’s why Deckard says “How can it not know what it is?” when talking to Tyrell at the beginning of the movie. And I’m going totally from memory, damn. Also, if you didn’t know there’s a DVD and Blu-ray collection with every cut of the film in case you ever wanted to watch the original version again. You can bet that I own it on Blu-ray. The Director’s Cut is my favorite version. It’s really not that much different than The Final Cut at all. Mostly aesthetic/technical fixes there. See my review on Mike’s site for a complete version breakdown.
      I think I’ve only seen it three or four times, despite the impression that I’m die hard fan. I do love it, but I wrote that review for Rutger, because he was a legend. I could have done The Hitcher (1986) also. That movie confounds me, there’s just something so… off about it. The problem is I’d have no idea what to rank it. You should see that one if you haven’t. It’s on YouTube.
      https://youtu.be/AUnXsEsJGtQ

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      1. Ah, you’re right about the replicants. I’ll have to change that, thanks! And I know about the DVDs. I meant prior to 2007.

        With all due respect to Hauer, actors get a little testy when they’re not asked to return for the sequel. See: William Shatner, lol

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  1. I have no idea what version of Blade Runner I’ve seen. Likely the Final Cut, as I watched it properly (as an adult) only a few years ago. It was okay.

    2049 is long… even feels like it’s on longer than it is due to the pacing issues (you wouldn’t get that problem with a Seagal movie, let me tell ya) and it was fairly predictable, huh?

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    1. I did find parts of 2049 predictable but overall I was happy with the direction the film went. I feel most of my enjoyment of it came from my investment in the characters from the first movie. I just want to see enough happy. *sniff

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  2. I gather whenever a new medium comes out (VHS, DVD, Blu Ray…), this is the film that many like to see first, to see how superior it is to the previous medium.
    I saw the film once & remember very little. Like you, I picture him as Han or Indy!

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  3. I’m a little biased because Blade Runner is my favourite film ever but, I did enjoy the pacing of 2049 – it was unapologetically slow, it had some weighty ideas to unravel and wasn’t going to be hurried by anyone. Plus the visuals in Vegas were superb.

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