It's taken director Ridley Scott three tries and 25 years to finally rework his 1982 sci-fi thriller "Blade Runner" in a way he's comfortable enough to call "The Final Cut."
The film has long been a cult favorite, and this is probably the definitive version at least until the perfectionist filmmaker decides to tinker with it again.
The removal of a few weaker story elements and the earlier, distracting voiceover narration make this one leaner and more effective than other releases (including a 1997 "director's cut," which was also minus the narration). However, the film is still a more violent and nastier adaptation of the Philip K. Dick story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a blade runner (cop) assigned to "retire" artificial life-forms (androids) that have gone rogue.
Four of these murderous "replicants" Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Pris (Daryl Hannah), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and Leon (Brion James) are loose in Los Angeles, trying to find their creator before their four-year life spans are up.
While Rick tries to track them down, he also tries to come to terms with his feelings for another replicant, Rachael (Sean Young), who has only recently discovered she's not human.
Even two decades later, Scott's film remains a visual triumph. The production design Lawrence G. Paull and Syd Mead's vision of futuristic Los Angeles is heavy on Asian and American influences, especially with its brazen outdoor advertising. And a few computer-generated elements have been added for this version.
Ford is fine as a world-weary retro-gumshoe in the future, though he's somewhat upstaged by Hauer's crazed replicant, which holds interest throughout the film.
"Blade Runner: The Final Cut" is rated R for strong scenes of violent action (brawling, shootings, strangulation, an eye-gouging, vehicular mayhem, and violence against women), gore and blood, suggestive language (slang), brief female nudity, scattered profanity, slurs based on ethnicity and brief drug content (advertising). Running time: 117 minutes.