JD’s review published on Letterboxd:
First time watching the theatrical cut as I've only ever seen the final cut.
Blade Runner is set in 2019 and follows detective Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as he is tasked with tracking down and retiring a group of replicants who have recently escaped.
The thing that really sticks out in the theatrical cut is the voiceover narration. It is really jarring and feels forced to the point that even though it isn’t used that much, it still is distracting. Other than that, this remains an amazing piece of science fiction film history. The story, though slow and a little predictable, is an engrossing exploration into identity and humanity. Characters are fantastically drawn, and their arcs are emotionally moving and thought-provoking. The ending is incredible and brilliantly executed.
Harrison Ford delivers one of the finest performances of his career as the weary Deckard. Rutger Hauer steals the show in his iconic monologue scene. Sean Young is also fantastic as Racheal, a replicant Deckard meets on his mission. Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong, Morgan Paull and Hy Pyke provide great support.
Ridley Scott’s direction and Jordan Cronenwreth’s stunning cinematography make this a beautiful film to get lost in. A standout moment is the haunting opening which sets the world up instantly. Vangelis’ score is magnificent and hits the beats of the story perfectly.
Final thought: The final cut is a hundred percent superior, but this is still a riveting and thoroughly engrossing piece of sci-fi.