Hailed as one of the best sci fi movies of all time (if not the best), Blade Runner is the story of a blade runner who was tasked to hunt down 4 replicants. I know the technical terms are unfamiliar but bear with me on this first part. It’s set in a dystopic future which is not so distant for us now, because it’s already 2013 and the movie is set in 2019, but I guess was distant in 1982? It’s directed by Ridley Scott based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick. It stars Harrison Ford (which when I saw this movie I thought, fine, you are the ultimate bad-ass) as Deckard, the blade runner tasked to retire (in this movie it’s technically killing because the replicants are biomechanic at the least) the replicants named Roy (Rutger Hauer), Leon (Brion James), Pris (Daryl Hannah) and Zhora (Joanna Cassidy). These replicants are hunted down because they are illegal on earth. They were developed by the Tyrell Corporation as space slaves, that is, to explore and settle planets so that humans can eventually live on them.
So to move on with the review,as a Ridley Scott movie, it’s a great one, but not to fault the movie, but I still think that The Gladiator is a better movie. I just think that the story, the drama and the action in The Gladiator is way more epic than Blade Runner. But the movie has its own merits I suppose. Although I did have trouble watching it because of my own predispositions regarding the future, and here are the reasons why:
- Again with the replicants, it was hard to sink it in that they were not robots. Because they were obviously superior beings as they were stronger (they can lift people using one hand) and smarter (because Roy beat Tyrell, his maker, at chess and Tyrell was supposed to be a genius) Are they technically clones of actual humans? Or that they were organs assembled to be put together so they are like robots but their parts are not machine but human. I was surprised that they were able to eat food and that they bled to death because until then, I thought that they were like terminators if you peel off the skin. Which also begs the explanation for the first part of the movie which was the test?
- The test given to replicants were supposed to indicate if someone is human or not. And this was the only way to determine that some one is a replicant or not meaning they were biological in nature. But the thing is, if they could name the damn model, they should have coded each one! I mean if these things required sequencing before they become alive, like Frankenstein’s monster, couldn’t they have simply tagged each one so they can keep track of them all? Wouldn’t have that been useful when you know, in case they rebel because they have feelings that you put into them and made them slaves?
- The world wasn’t completely explained. They just tell you that the world is in the future and that you have to be at a certain life physical condition if you want to be admitted to another planet. They don’t tell you how they got there from the present and what the plans are about colonization. This also begs the question that if replicants are illegal on earth, why are they being created on earth? Why can’t they be created in another planet where they can be contained if something goes wrong. I think there were a lot of questions that were not addressed in the movie that it leaves you with a lacking feeling that you might not understand how it things turned up and you can’t have a good conclusion where things will go.
But despite the preconditions set in my head and the problems I encountered above, I still enjoyed this movie very much. I know it may seem that I didn’t but I did, I mean why else would I think about all those things if the movie didn’t catch my attention. I mean the theme of the movie was so complex with layers about life that you can’t help but get sucked in. The movie may have been driven by the blade runner but the struggle was definitely for the replicants. The movie is about the replicants, who they are and what they did and how they will be able survive. I mean the questions that they ask on this film are truly speculating that I sometimes pause to ponder what they said in the middle of watching the movie.
The pacing was a little bit weird on my first viewing but it gets better every time you see it again. You sort of adapt to the theme, the mood and the music that comes with the pacing of the story. The visuals were also amazing considering the year but there was never really that intense action scenes except when a replicant is effing the life out of a human being. But although there were no intense action, there were definitely intense scenes that will make you feel wound up.
The cast was great, I mean Harrison Ford is a bad-ass. You can’t deny that, I mean he is Han, Indy and a cop in the future set out to track super humans, he can’t be any cooler. The replicant Rachel in the movies was also good but she wasn’t on the movie as much. The main replicant guy was awesome, he was intense and creepy and very aggressive. He makes you feel that he can crush your bones without even trying which of course in the movie he can. Pris was also good in the movie and I think her tandem with Roy adds a certain level of human feel to their characters despite being ruthless in their ways.
After all that I have said, I think it goes to show that this movie is a MUST SEE NOW. It’s a good movie that makes you wonder about the future, as most sci fi does. I think it opens up a lot of questions about the future that’s why it gained a cult following. I do understand why it stands as one of the best sci fi movies of all time because at first, I did think that it might have been overrated. But when I look back at other sci fi movies of its time, I did think that no movie explores the future well and more accurately than this one.