I have an interest in science fiction films and TV programmes. I like shows like (the original) Star Wars trilogy, (most of) the Star Trek films, as well as Star Trek TV series (Voyager for modern times,preferably, as it had the least number of useless episodes), etc. In my experience, most SF material turns out to be distilled garbage. Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' was a masterpiece. I am not hesitant to say that I blatantly dislike Spielberg's definition of SF- ET, Close Encounters, & (worst of all) War Of The Worlds. Neither do I appreciate any 'Alien' film apart from R Scott's 1979 original (although Alien2 was OK)-Alien vs Pred is a disgrace not only to all genres, but to the film industry itself. So when I heard of Blade Runner on the net, I wondered; what could be so good about this film? I have HBO,Cinemax, Star Movies- yet this film has never been shown. So, I got myself the Director's Cut at the local video store. I watched it once. Then I re-watched it two days later. My verdict: This film is fantastic.
It is one of the greatest films ever made, on par with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Upon 1st viewing, new audiences may be bewildered. One anticipates a futuristic run-of-the-mill 80's shoot-em-up (in the like of Outland,say). What you get is a film so deep that it is difficult to grasp the 1st time. There is so much symbolism, introverts and questions that I was left stunned. The film is hauntingly beautiful, and I doubt that these screen landscapes could be reproduced today as well as they were here. The plot centres around the question of humanity- something we take for granted. It is not an auctioneer, which was probably what audiences expected when they walked into theatres in the 80s, causing the film to fail commercially. Blade Runner is not for the adrenaline junkie, nor for those who like flashy gadgets and bright explosions, with a healthy Hollywood-made dose of convincing storyline spoon-fed for their satisfaction.
The film is set in the apocalyptic, suggestively post-war future Earth, where there seems to be a lag in technology. Perhaps there was a war which ravaged the world, forcing humans to migrate (the cramped cultural richness of LA), and rebuild, explaining the retro technology. 6 'Criminal' Nexus 6 replicates (genetically engineered humanoids), hijack a ship and come to Earth seeking their maker. These slaves(machines/automatons// regard them as anything which has been created by Man to lessen his burden) have developed emotions, and they fear death for they cherish their memories (Think robots weeping over photographs). Their cause: They want a longer life, they want to experience more, they want to be... human.
Enter Rick Deckard, Blade Runner. His job: kill trespassing replicates; Kill living, breathing humanoids composed of flesh and blood who only have 4 years to live out their miserable lives, seeking haven on Earth rather than serving as slaves in mining outposts on Mars. Kill? Murder seems more appropriate. But that's his job. replicates which trespass are a hazard. These 6 replicates have killed 23 people and hijacked a ship. They have to be killed, right? If you're planning to take sides in this film, you will be pleasantly if not unnervingly surprised. There are no sides. There is no good and evil. Harrison Ford plays the reluctant, burned out Blade Runner very well. His character is drab and dull, as it was meant to be; look at him in the Spinner on the way to Tyrell corporation- pure boredom. He hates his job. If there were any narration, it Should sound dull and uninteresting, reflecting his character. Rutger Hauer gives the greatest performance of his career (so far) in this film, playing Roy Batty, Replicant 'project manager'. He dominates the later part of the film. He is cold, stiff and evil, but in the end speech, one of the Greatest endings I have ever seen, his performance alone makes this film a Classic. The ending is beautiful, and the score by Vangelis is perfect.
All in all, the film is excellent. Well directed by Ridley Scott, innovative and stunning imagery underlined by Vangelis' superb score, and plenty to think about (on your own- no spoon feeding). Check out the trivia for this film; scientists voted it better than 2001:A Space Odyssey. Is the quest for humanity a crime? Find out for yourself. Blade Runner is a Must-Watch, and a Must-Have film.
My rating: 8.9 / 10 Thank you for your time. Kris
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