Netflix has always been a reliable source of science fiction goodness, from blockbuster hits to cult classics to its own original productions, but in April, the streaming service is losing arguably the greatest sci-fi movie of all time.
There's no denying the influence of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Adapted from Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and released in 1982, the movie stars Harrison Ford (back when he really gave a damn) as a noir detective in a cyberpunk future where illegal "Replicant" androids hide among humans on earth. Ford plays Rick Deckard (who may or may not be a robot himself) as he hunts a group of dangerous androids through the unrecognizable streets of 2019 (!) Los Angeles.
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Blade Runner: The Final Cut leaves Netflix on April 30.
You might be thinking, I've watched Blade Runner before. Who cares if it's leaving Netflix? I've got old episodes of Parks and Rec to rewatch! But before you head back to Pawnee, let me ask you one question: Have you seen the "Final Cut" of Blade Runner? If you haven't, you're missing out on what's arguably the definitive version of this classic sci-fi film.
Released in 2007, Blade Runner: The Final Cut is one of seven different versions of the movie released since 1982. It's also the only one that represents Scott's true vision for the film.
This can get confusing because there's also a "Director's Cut," which Warner Bros. released in 1992 after digging up an old edit of Blade Runner and giving it a limited theatrical release. However, this director's cut was pretty rough, and Ridley Scott publicly disowned it. In response, Warner let him create his own "final cut," which fixes a lot of issues with both the original version and its subsequent edits.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut represents Scott's singular vision, ignoring restraints like test audiences, studio notes, money, or a looming premiere date. It cuts the optimistic ending and voiceover while adding in a bizarre dream scene that offers new context to the old story. Scott also fixed some continuity errors and polished up the visuals. The result is a must-watch for anyone who loves Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's work, or science fiction in general.
So forget everything you know about Blade Runner, sit back, and enjoy Ridley Scott's final cut of this cyberpunk classic before it leaves Netflix — maybe forever.