While I never got to the chance to sit down and watch Blade Runner from start to finish until I was 19 and it came to DVD, it quickly became one of my all time favorite movies. From its stunning cinematography and special effects, to the haunting and synth-filled score by Vangelis, it is hailed (and rightly so) as one of the greatest films ever made. It’s not without its flaws, but it did start the cyberpunk genre that films such as Ghost in the Shell and others have taken heavily from. With so many different cuts of Blade Runner out there, it’s hard to settle on just one, which was made famous with its Blu-ray release in 2007 that featured four versions of the movie. But director Ridley Scott has chosen Blade Runner: The Final Cut to be the definitive one, and that’s the one we’re getting on 4K UHD Blu-ray with HDR that makes a classic even better, and will draw more fans, new and old, into this masterpiece.
For those who don’t know the story, the setting takes place in 2019 Los Angeles, where a special police officer called a “Blade Runner” named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is assigned to hunt down and “retire” bioengineered beings known as replicants that have escaped their mining jobs in space. Of course by “retire” it means killing them, but the kicker of the film is when it delves into what it truly means to be alive, and these replicants wish to know this and expand their meager four-year lifespan if possible. This leads Deckard and the replicants to the Tyrell Corporation that created them, led by Eldon Tyrell that has an assistant named Rachael (Sean Young), who is an experimental model that believes she is human. From here it’s one wild chase after another as Deckard becomes close with Rachael as he hunts down the replicants who have been murdering people, and their leader Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) who longs to know what life truly is.
To say anymore than that would give away some of the best and deepest parts of the film, but needless to say this is one movie you need to experience for yourself. It may come off as slow and weird at first (it took me a try or two to really get into the film), but once you catch on to its rhythm and pace, you’ll begin to see why it’s regarded as a cult classic. As mentioned earlier, the visuals and soundtrack are some of the best ever captured on film, and comes alive like a living art masterpiece. Anyone who has seen this will feel like they’re watching it again for the first time, as that’s exactly what it felt like thanks to the power of 4K UHD with HDR. The special features are a bit on the light side, with audio commentary by Ridley Scott along with some of the crew behind the film, and there’s also an old extra from previous releases “Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner” that goes behind the making of the film which is a nice treat, but it would’ve been cool to have some newer features added to this release.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut on 4K UHD Blu-ray is the best release of the film so far as visuals and audio go. But those wanting more in depth special features and to view and compare the other versions of the movie will want to seek out the 2007 Blu-ray release. Whatever the case may be, fans will want to hop in their spinner and pick this one up, and newcomers can run their own turing test here and get caught up before the sequel, Blade Runner: 2049, is released.