182: Blade Runner

Blade Runner (R) - 1982 - Runtime: 117 minutes
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah
Director: Ridley Scott

So I was really excited to sit down and watch this movie. It's supposed to be one of the defining sci-fi movies of ALL TIME, a classic and so on. But what my mind had anticipated was something totally different than what appeared on screen.

Not to say that this movie was a disappointment. I think I need to watch the movie a second time through (and I watched the final, super director's cut or whatever - I guess this is what Ridley Scott wanted as the final version) to really appreciate all the details, metaphors and symbolism that are running throughout. I'm so used to modern-day, fast-paced action sci-fi epics (as in Minority Report and I, Robot) so to slow down with this more noir film pace was somewhat of a jolt. So if you think you're going to see a lot of action, brace yourself, this is not that movie. What you'll find is a very smart and tense noir film that takes place in the future where robots (called replicants) look just like humans.

For those not familiar with the plot, there are robots (replicants) that live among the humans. That is, until a mutiny by the replicants on an off-world colony turns ugly and ends up killing a lot of real humans. After that, replicants are deemed illegal and are "terminated." Harrison Ford plays Deckard, a blade runner who is tasked with terminating all the replicants living on earth (or at least in his city). He's recently assigned to track down four replicants that have landed on earth and are living among the humans. It's a fairly straightforward story, but one that gets complicated with the idea that Deckard cannot trust anyone.

There's a lot going on in this movie - from questions raised about morality (do these replicants actually have rights and do they deserve their place within society if they're exactly like us?) to immortality (man has created man himself - does that make him god?). It's a fairly deep sci-fi movie and like I said earlier, one that deserves a second examination to really appreciate what Ridley Scott and the screenwriters are saying and how they adapted Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The acting is a little scatter shot - but Rutger Hauer definitely stands out, even more than Ford, as the best part of this movie. He's slightly maniacal (especially near the end) and just menacing enough to give you the creeps. And Darryl Hannah just creeps me out in general, so the fact that she's all dolled up and weird in this movie just ratchets her up in the stratosphere of super freaks. And the sets are pretty amazing and the visual effects still hold up after more than twenty-five years. I always think that's a testament to a movie - whether it can still be appreciated after more than a decade. Although some of the costumes and characters scream the 80s, it doesn't detract from the atmosphere and gritty feel of the movie.

I highly recommend this movie if you haven't seen it already and are a sci-fi lover. Even if you like noir movies, this one is right up there with the best of them. It may not get you the first time, but by second viewing you may just love it.

Rating: Own It!

No comments: