Good Example Of Blade Runner Movie Review Movie Review
The movie, “Blade Runner”, is the 1982 iconic science fiction thriller from director, Ridley Scott, who is well-known for the wildly successful film, “Alien”. “Blade Runner” stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, and James Olmos. The film is loosely based on the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by author, Philip K. Dick, and is set in the year 2019.
When the movie was released in 1982, movie-goers were given a glimpse twenty years into the future and the opportunity to imagine a futuristic world based in Los Angeles. It is as futuristic as the mind would allow for that year. Cinematography boasts of enormous skyscrapers, flying vehicles, and city streets that are more reminiscent of a chaotic, jungle-like atmosphere than that of an envisioned future light year ahead. Fast forward to current year, 2015, the thought that 2019 is a mere four years away is mind-blowing. Unless something dramatically changes between now and then, the current landscape of the real world is nowhere close to how Scott depicted in the film. Perhaps his futuristic approach should have been modeled more for the year 2200 instead.
Harrison Ford, stars as a LA cop who is tasked with the challenge of eradicating artificial prototypes with human characteristics called replicants that have infiltrated planet Earth. In his efforts to carry out his quest, he falls in love with one of these anti-human androids. Ford has been noted as saying that “Blade Runner” is a film that begs to ponder if one can have a worthwhile relationship with their toaster. The toaster he affably refers to is played by Sean Young, who stars as his manufactured love-interest in the film. For those who are accustomed to seeing Ford in more prominent, action-packed roles, may be disappointed in his role in this movie as a leading character.
Ridley Scott has made his mark on the Hollywood sci-fi movie scene with his attention to futuristic detail to make movies worth watching, but fall short on storylines. “Blade Runner” is no exception. Scott admitted in an interview that he had given more attention to detail in “Blade Runner” than that of any other movie he had directed prior. The biggest reason for this was his need to make the conjecture of the story true to form. In order to accomplish this, Scott brought in the special effects expertise of Douglas Trumbull, who can be credited for blockbuster hits, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Silent Running”. Trumbull does what he does best in “Blade Runner”, by creating thematic scenery that is sensational in nature and inherently drawing viewers into another world never before seen.
The special effects technology seen throughout the movie becomes more about the movie than the movie itself. Ford’s role as the leading character is seemingly minimized due to the inordinate use of special effects that take front and center. This causes the movie to lose its depth to a degree. Of course, if one is a huge special effects enthusiast, then this movie has huge appeal.
The film did not fare well at the box office initially; opening opposite of the Steven Spielberg, blockbuster, “E. T. the Extraterrestrial”. As if that were not bad enough, it fell victim to tons of negative reviews by film critics who regarded the film as an overall flop. The film would go on to receive only two Academy Award nominations, acknowledging the outstanding set decoration and visual effects; leaving little surprise to anyone. However, nominations were all the film would receive as it was not enough to secure the Oscars.
The film’s core theme is centered on humanity and the question of what exactly does it mean to be human. The replicants challenge this because there is difficulty differentiating these artificial humans from the real ones in the movie. In turn, these beings do not know they are not human, because they replicate human feelings and emotions like their counterparts. It is symbolic in nature as the replicants make the viewer believe for the 118 minutes run-time that immortality is not only possible but a reality.
Throughout the film, an eye motif appears in various forms from the VK eye tests, to the Eye Works factory, to other references made. Each share a commonality that represents the adage that the eyes truly are the windows to one’s soul. It can also purport that nothing is unseen to the naked eye. That would certainly seem to be the case as the replicants are very reluctant to being annihilated and are highly aggressive when approached. They seem to be two-steps ahead at all times, making Ford’s character, Deckard, a force to be reckoned with.
One of the best moves Ridley Scott made was releasing the Director’s Cut version of the movie in 1992. It is considered to be quite the improvement over the original. He eliminated Ford’s narration heard in the original movie. Initially Scott believed this narration was necessary to clue the audience in on a futuristic Los Angeles to make the overall theme of the movie more understandable. He added more love scenes between Ford and Young, tweaked a few others, and basically scaled down the Hollywood-style ending that does not fit with the general overall premise of the movie; making it more palatable for viewers. Although the Director’s Cut has its perks by comparison to the original, the audience is still left with little to grasp hold of in terms of the human element of the story. This is due in large part to the overwhelming special effects throughout the movie that tend to dominate the screen. As a result, this pushes the story itself to the back burner and leaves much to be desired in trying to connect audiences to the human aspect of it all.
For all the movie is not, it does speak to the viewer’s philosophical side. “Blade Runner” poses questions that pique curiosity about the future and immortality. The futuristic setting gives one pause to ponder if life will really be this way in 2019. Can the wave of the future be built on artificial human life that can be created to exist among us? Will our primary mode of transportation be flying vehicles? Will cities take on the look and feel of the future as depicted in the movie?
The movie is science fiction as its best, and “Blade Runner” offers viewers something more. Unlike most ‘out-there’ approaches of other sci-fi movies, “Blade Runner” causes the audience to look deep within them and ask the looming question, “What if?” One who views the movie in 2015 and beyond is still captivated by a very futuristic time that remains to be seen. However, unlike in 1982, the difference in then and now is the advances in technology and development of the digital age that have since been ushered into existence. The technological advances across all spectrums make “Blade Runner” more believable than ever. Our current age would suggest that anything is possible. There are opportunities to see the impossible come to fruition like never before leaving viewers with a case being made for the future as being more a reality than a misnomer.
Harrison Ford will reprise his role of Deckard in “Blade Runner 2”, which begins filming this year, with no expected date of release known at this time.
Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott. Prod. Ridley Scott and Hampton Francher. By Hampton Francher and David Webb Peoples. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. Warner Bros., 1982. Film.