Do Androids Dream Of Owning This Movie? They Should…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

This is a film that has been praised to hell and back since its release more than 25 years ago. When my dad picked up the dvd, I thought I would give it a try…

Blade Runner is one of Ridley Scott’s most famous works (I am unacquainted with his other ones, such as Alien and Gladiator), which people have cited as starting the cyberpunk genre. This may be true, but the fact remains that the film, to the average moviegoer (which I consider), is confusing as hell. There are some philosopical meanings and ideas behind it, but I can see why this film didn’t do too well at the box office when it came out. I spent half of the film thinking that the main Replicant creator was played by old Leonard Nimoy (as in Star Trek: The Next Generation or the New Trek) so I was distracted while I was waiting for the credits to prove me right (they didn’t).

This is a film revolving around the detective Rick Deckard, who is tasked with finding four rogue android Replicants that have come to meet their designer and commit some light murder along the way. It has a reasonably well known speech from the end by a Replicant that people who haven’t seen the film have heard before.

Harrison Ford enjoyed another turn in this film as a troubled leading man on a quest to do something or other. Thinking about it, that streak didn’t really stop until the mid-90’s or so. Rutger Hauer makes an interesting antagonist as the leader of the doomed Replicants. This film has a large amount of action in it, so any action fans will be pleased by that while those who like their films to make them think will not be left wanting.

Some aspects of the film are left unclear, such as if Deckard (Ford) is a Replicant or not (my opinion is that he is not), or what precisely a Blade Runner is. I know it’s supposed to be Deckard’s job, but he doesn’t seem to be running any blades in the film. It sounds like it should be a film set in Mexico about knife smugglers.

In my personal opinion, it’s not as good as Indiana Jones or Star Wars, but it’s better than The Fugitive, so if you want a bit of Ford action without too much time on a trilogy, go with this one. It has a gritty used future feel to it, which is good to watch and was quite ground breaking at the time (if you discount Star Wars). It’s basically Film Noir from the 80’s. This wasn’t really a film that I was enthusiastic about while watching, but it has a lot of questions and ideas designed to make you think, held together with well done action sequences and effects work.

Thinking about it, the only problem that I had with this film was that when I was watching it, a lot of the philosophical questions went over my head and the action mostly held my attention, but that might not be the case with you. I recommend this film as the good film it is, so find it and watch it.

If anyone wants to check this out, you can pick up the dvd from any good store (go for the Final Cut, if possible) or you can see it on the BBC iPlayer for the next two days or so.

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