The director’s cut of Blade Runner divests the film of the studio-added voiceover narration and adds a more hopeful ending. Alas, the cyberpunk visual scheme hasn’t been tinkered with, so 2019 Los Angeles, once again greenish-brown, still looks like a putrid mixture of mucus and manure. Moreover, the film is still clumsy, soulless, disgustingly violent, and cop Rick Deckard’s search-and-dispatch of illegal immigrants, humanoid slaves called replicants that belong on other planets (Des Moines, maybe), remains tedious and silly. Sing: Still sleazy after a-all these years.
Perhaps the film’s one interesting aspect is its (unsuccessful) attempt to fuse forties film noir and futuristic science fiction. Certainly the most interesting plot development is the sexual romance between “Deck” and one of the replicants, played moodily in Joan Crawford shoulder pads by gorgeous Sean Young. Poor Rachael did not even know that she was a replicant until Deck explains that her memories from childhood were really programmed in. It’s never a happy thing to learn that you are only a robot—especially when each replicant has been given an operative duration of just four years. Thus do humans and humanoids, both limited by fixed terms, oddly resemble one another—solitudinous creatures immersed in fear. Indeed, is Deck really a recommissioned ex-cop? Does he really recall being a cop? Might he not also be a replicant? The ambiguities keep a-comin’—and each and every one of them is dull.
Harrison Ford, because his acting as Deck is so repressed, has at least been purged of most of his Star Wars smirk.
The answer is No. Androids do not dream of electric sheep. In fact, it’s hard to believe that any of the androids that came up with this piece of trash has dreamt about anything ever.
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