In a cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside Earth but with fixed lifespans. In Los Angeles, 2019, Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specializes in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when four replicants escape from an off-world colony to Earth. Written by
Graeme Roy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a film that is so deep, rich, and multi-layered, it may require more than one viewing to fully absorb the brilliance of what you've just seen. At first glance, it can be a bit slow. It's told in a classic film noir fashion, so this is to be expected. Director Ridley Scott seems to want to savor every shot, and an astute audience will be able to sense this.
Now, I say the film is told in a classic Noir style, but this can be misleading. There is no Humphrey Bogart in Blade Runner, snapping off brilliant one-liners once a second. Only hopeless people, in many ways victims of the merciless world of which they are all a part. Deckard is a typically downbeat protagonist, a hard-boiled cynical leading man with a weakness for heavy drinking. The plot is a mystery in name only, as the audience is allowed to know what Roy Batty, Pris and Leon are all up to before Deckard ever finds out. This only lends to the dread and inevitability of the film, lending further to its pervasive gloom. There is no final scene at the end where the bold detective puts all the pieces together and says "Ah-Ha!". Instead, we find Rick Deckard questioning his own existence and drinking away his constant doubts, all the while embroiled in a romantic relationship with someone he's sworn to kill.
Blade Runner requires audience participation, particularly in the Director's Cut, which is entirely devoid of some rather necessary exposition provided by the Original Cut's much-maligned voice-over. Certain facts will not be clear even at the end of the film, requiring personal interpretation in order to be appreciated fully. Other facts will be given away in much more subtle ways than in most modern cinema, such as through visual cues and tenuous dialogue.
Finally, visually, this movie is quite simply a science fiction triumph. It looks better than modern computer effects in every way that counts. Superimposed special effect objects don't give off that unnatural, clearly computer-generated "Lord of the Rings" sheen common in today's effects-driven blockbusters. This, of course, is because Blade Runner - while a gorgeous movie - is not effects driven in the least. Rather, it is a visually driven story that doesn't rely on special effects. This is an important distinction to make in today's Hollywood.
"Touch of Evil" really wasn't the last of the Great Film Noirs!
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