Blade Runner (1982)
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Hampton Fancher, David Peoples
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, M. Emmet Walsh, Edward James Olmos, Joe Turkel, Brion James, Joanna Cassidy, William Sanderson
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|Movie Review by Ben |
December 24th, 2007
I always kept wondering why Ridley Scott could never leave this movie well enough alone. It was released back in 1982 and it was, at that time, one of the few Harrison Ford movies to bomb at the box office (the percentage has increased with movies like "Hollywood Homicide" and "Firewall"). But, like many great science fiction movies, it has gained a deserved cult following that seems to get bigger and bigger each year.
One of my friends in particular is a huge fan of this movie, and believes that Ridley went back to do another cut because he realized that he would never ever have it this good as a director ever again. Ridley has made a lot of great movies since this one, but I can see what he meant.
"Blade Runner" remains after all these years one of the best science fiction films ever made. It has a look to it that is so unique that I literally cannot compare it to any other futuristic movie. It puts a lot of other futuristic movies to shame; especially those that are made so cheaply (remember "Cyborg" with Jean Claude Van Damme?). Seeing it on the screen in all of its visual glory was a sight to behold.
The movie stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a blade runner who is hired to track down and kill 4 replicants who have escaped and have gone to look for their maker. Replicants are human clones that are created to serve colonies outside of Earth, and that shows how far we have gone in terms of space travel in the future. As a blade runner, Rick specializes in terminating replicants now they have labeled illegal after a bloody mutiny they caused.
Harrison Ford embodies the character of Fred Decker perfectly. It's like he walked out of a detective story from the 1940's. Decker is from a long line of burned out detectives who are the best at a job they no longer want to do. But of course, they just have to come out of retirement to do what they do best. Harrison looks like he has had the life sucked out of him at the beginning of the movie, but he comes back to life as the movie goes on when he becomes involved with a female replicant, played by Sean Young.
Watching Sean Young in this movie is something else I have to say. She is perfect here as a female who is so clearly a replicant when we first meet her. However, as the movie goes on, we find ourselves almost forgetting that as she exhibits human emotions that we would not expect to see from something that is not human. Decker becomes utterly attracted to her, and you almost want to say to him that he is falling in love with what is basically a robot. But I guess that when the robot is as pretty as Sean Young is in this movie, and she was in her 20's when the movie was first released, I guess you can't really argue with that.
Seeing this movie for the first time in years, it is funny to see how the themes in this movie have been used over and over again in both TV and film. The movie seems to suggest that we made these replicants to remind ourselves of how human we used to be. Like U2 said, they threaten to be even better than the real thing. They exhibit a life force that has been burned out of many of us at a certain point in our lives. Or maybe they are just here to remind of us of how much of a slave we have become to technology. There are points where you have to wonder if any of these characters can tell the difference between what is real and what is not.
The leader of this group of renegade replicants is Roy Batty, a viciously passionate replicant played to the hilt by Rutger Hauer. He has ten times more passion than the humans he relentlessly torments, and his last speech in the movie is one of the most beautiful moments in this movie. The "tears in the rain" part of it was something he actually improvised on the spot.
So, what is it about the "final cut" that makes it so much different from the others? To be honest, I don't know for sure. I have never seen the original version of the movie that came out so many years ago with that dreaded voiceover that supposedly never really worked. My understanding is that the previous director's cut that came out did not have Ridley's full input on it. So it is safe to say that this is Ridley's final statement (so far) on this movie. It has been a while since I have seen the previous director's cut.
After all these years, "Blade Runner" remains a true sci-fi classic that is ever so deserving of its huge cult following. Again, there really is no other movie that I can compare it to on a visual level. Thematically speaking, there are many movies that deal with the future ahead of us in many different ways, but none of them will ever look like the world that Ridley conjured up here.
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