Classic Review: Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples, Philip K. Dick (novel)

Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young

RATING: 4 Stars

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In the early twenty-first century, the Tyrell Corporation, during what was called the Nexus phase, developed robots, called “replicants”, that were supposed to aid society, the replicants which looked and acted like humans. When the superhuman generation Nexus 6 replicants, used for dangerous off-Earth endeavours, began a mutiny on an off-Earth colony, replicants became illegal on Earth. Police units, called “blade runners”, have the job of destroying – or in their parlance “retiring” – any replicant that makes its way back to or created on Earth, with anyone convicted of aiding or assisting a replicant being sentenced to death. It’s now November, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Rick Deckard, a former blade runner, is called out of retirement when four known replicants, most combat models, have made their way back to Earth – From IMDB

This has been a staple for Sci-Fi lovers for many, many years now, and as a self proclaimed Sci-Fi fan, I am ashamed to admit that until last night, I had never seen this film. It was time to remedy that oversight, and I had a truly amazing time.

For a relatively short runtime, this film packs a hell of a lot in. It creates a new world, a future version of earth, in that glorious eighties futurist vibe. I don’t know what the eighties thought the future would look like, but they had some wacky ideas of what the 2000s would look like. This one is quite dark and a little sinister and scary. Not the future I hope to see one day. But the three dimensional characters, that have real flaws and believable, realistic personalities mean that it is easy to immerse yourself in the world. This film is a real gem.

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I loved that despite the futuristic setting and aesthetic of the film, it had an almost noir feeling to it. The dim lighting, the music, and the main character narrating to us, the viewer what was happening on screen, all gave me a kick as quite a film noir fan myself. Then towards the end, when Deckard is having his showdown with Roy Batty, the film switches up its genre again to be more of a horror. With some really disturbing sequences. This film really is a gem.

No-one needs to be told about how great Harrison Ford is, we all know, but it is the supporting cast that play a lot of the minor characters that really bring this film to life. Deckard could almost be a detective from any era, but to see how grim and dark the world has become, you have to rely on the side characters, they are the ones that demonstrate how different this word is from our own.

I can’t believe it took me this long to watch this, and it is definitely a film I will revisit again and again. Now I just have to move on to the sequel.

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