NOTE: This review regards the famous director’s cut, released a decade after the initial cut.
ADDENDUM: 10/18/2013 I plan to watch The Final Cut of Blade Runner either tonight or sometime soon. Yeah, I’ll be reviewing it again, except, you’ll probably find more in the new review. It’s not cheating, since it’s practically a different movie.
Bottom Line:The sci-fi movie. Never “runs” out of steam.
“It’s too bad she won’t live…but then again, who does?” –Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (as if that isn’t the most bizarre title I’ve ever heard), mind-blowing cyberpunk drama starts in November of 2019, in a dystopian world. The world has been warned that if any Replicants (humanoid robots that yield very few discrepancies from actual human beings built by the Tyrell Corporation) are spotted, they are to be shot down. The ones who are to execute this action and retire (kill) these beings are from a project known as the Blade Runners Unit. Our central character is Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former Blade Runner rehired because of a reported four Replicants that have hijacked a spacecraft and taken off to Earth to unite with Tyrell themselves.
Harrison Ford is never a failure. He has both saved movies from disaster (EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES, COWBOYS & ALIENS), and he has also done his fair share of topping off movies to becoming their very best (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, WITNESS, STAR WARS, AMERICAN GRAFFITI). His performance here is exceptional. We wouldn’t even be wondering if this film was a nod to classic film-noir, had his performance not been so steady, tense, and well-done. Then there’s the directing alongside. Other than this, the only Ridley Scott film I have seen was ALIEN (yes, I’m prepared to be yelled at tremendously for not having seen GLADIATOR and THELMA & LOUISE). Though this isn’t the same kind of science fiction as ALIEN, and certainly not a horror film, we can see some similar blood, especially with the cinematography, the phobia-inducing sequences (though more acrophobic than claustrophobic), the distinct feeling of tension we get.
BLADE RUNNER is a unique film. It seems to always be associated with its cult following, but I’d associate it with all the extensions and director’s cuts it has. If you exclude the original 113-minute “workprint,” it has six different versions, most of which are still available today. The most common are the 1992 Director’s Cut (the one I viewed) and the 2007 Final Cut, released for the 10th and 25th anniversaries, respectively. I could watch this film every week, even though I’ve only seen it once so far. It’s goes to the optimal with its involvement with the audience, showing what a city’s future would be like. This isn’t Lucas’s STAR WARS. We don’t have an epic journey with Droids and Jedi and Obi-Wan Kenobi and whatnot (yes, it’s so great, it makes even STAR WARS look a bit silly). Instead, we have a riveting adventure–part action, part drama, full sci-fi–complete with Coca-Cola ads, Chinatown, and the most engrossing sci-fi plot. Ever.