Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” is, of course, the subject of some long-debated editing controversy. Set in the near future of 2019, “Blade Runner” is about a futuristic detective named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who specializes in tracking down rogue replicants, artificially grown human-like creatures built for cheap labor. Detecting replicants is difficult, you see. Replicants are also programmed with pre-set death dates, leading to the replicant Roy (Rutger Hauer) having an existential crisis. Scott’s film contains some truly dazzling visuals and production design, but its feints in the direction of profundity fall mind-numbingly flat. Ultimately, “Blade Runner” is a staggeringly dull exercise in meaningless, adolescent navel-gazing.
The film ends with audiences questioning whether or not Deckard is a replicant himself. The answer, either way, wouldn’t make “Blade Runner” any more interesting.
When it was first released, however, Warner Bros. notoriously re-edited “Blade Runner,” without Scott’s input, to include a clunky voice-over narration from Ford, as well as a happier ending. The early voiceover is particularly hated by “Blade Runner” fans, and many popularly criticize it as being unnecessary for communicating the story.
Hatred of the voiceover is such an infamous talking point among film bros — even more so than “Justice League” discussions — that Gerwig just had to initially lampoon it in “Barbie.” Instead of Shipp’s character being baffled by being really invested in “Zack Snyder’s vision,” she actually came to the rescue of the theatrical cut of “Blade Runner.”
“One of the Barbies says to Ken, ‘Oh my god, I never would have realized that Deckard was a replicant,’ […] Then when she gets unbrainwashed, there’s a version where she said, ‘I liked the voiceover. I needed it to help me understand what was happening. Nobody’s following this.'”