I have watched Blade Runner multiple times over the years. The older I get the more I appreciate it.
On one level it provides a tense and interesting story in the style of the "film noir" detective flicks of the 40's and 50's - only set in a gritty and believable future. The less than perfect hero doing what he has to in order to solve the case in the dirty city is a classic. The vision of the future which seems to be a paradise for the few and a dog-eat-dog jungle for many can, in my opinion, be seen all around us today.
The movie follows the efforts of the main character played by Harrison Ford to find and eliminate rogue "replicants". They are manufactured people - seemingly identical to humans but without the same rights and purposely engineered to have very short life spans. The rogues have come to Earth illegally to try force the head of the corporation that made them to give them normal life spans before it's too late.
As far as the detective story goes it works very well. However, having aged more than 2 and 1/2 decades since I first saw it and having lived in various countries in Africa and Latin America for over 20 years has changed the way that I perceive it. I now see it asking, What does it mean to be human? Or maybe, How do we decide which persons are part of "Us" and which are "Them"?
The replicants feel pain and emotions, they bleed and die - but they are not one of us and therefore lack fundamental rights - they are slaves.
Not so long ago skin color was enough to classify one as fully human or not - and still does in some cases. Blade Runner asks how do we decide who is human, who is one of us, who deserves rights and respect. Do we divide ourselves by tribe? religion? language? sex?
Blade Runner challenges us to think about this important question and is a suspenseful and entertaining movie at the same time.
Blade Runner (USA, 1982) Directed by Ridley Scott Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Joe Turkel There comes a point in the life of any true-blooded film reviewer when they must plant a flag in the sand and argue their case for the greatest film of all time. It's a daunting task, since the films which we most revere often take on an 'untouchable' quality. They resonate so strongly with us and are so perfect in construction, … more
What can I say? Words will fail you while watching this new transfer of the all time best SciFi film, Mr. Scott's exceptional masterpiece. I just did and the impression still has me speechless. This review should just be a blank with ten stars and one advice: BUY IT! The clarity of the picture, sharpness, sound, the tiny details, even in the darkness and the rain. It looks as if it has been shot yesterday. I prefer Ridley Scott's … more
Although Blade Runner is a visual buffet, and has had some tweaks with the director's rendition, it still has some issues. I have heard through the years about the incredible places this film takes you. A dark, crowded metropolis full of fumes and sick rejects. Let me say, visually it exceeded my expectations. Although I am fully aware how they created the environments I was looking at, I still caught myself with my jaw creeping open. It's pretty incredible. Tall skyscrapers … more
One of the few science fiction films in the last 20 years to rival Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is Steven Spielberg's 2003 effort Minority Report. Guess what: they're both adaptations of stories by Phillip K Dick. I think Minority Report is in large part homage to Blade Runner (as is the Matrix, actually): the futuristic city, transport and all pervasive advertising is all there, but Spielberg (whilst making an undeniably wonderful film) hasn't mustered anything like the design, style or brooding … more
When Ridley Scott's cut ofBlade Runnerwas finally released in 1993, one had to wonder why the studio hadn't done it right the first time--11 years earlier. This version is so much better, mostly because of what's been eliminated (the ludicrous and redundant voice-over narration and the phony happy ending) rather than what's been added (a bit more character development and a brief unicorn dream). Star Harrison Ford originally recorded the narration under duress at the insistence of Warner Bros. executives who thought the story needed further "explanation"; he later confessed that he thought if he did it badly they wouldn't use it. (Moral: Never overestimate the taste of movie executives.) The movie's spectacular futuristic vision of Los Angeles--a perpetually dark and rainy metropolis that's the nightmare antithesis of "Sunny Southern California"--is still its most seductive feature, an otherworldly atmosphere in which you can immerse yourself. The movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private-detective/murder-mystery plot line (with Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makesBlade Runnerone of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more (about himself and the people he encounters) than he anticipates.... With Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, ...