Blade Runner

8 10 2011

I’m writing about one of the favorite films of one of my favorite directors. I am very happy to say that “Blade Runner” is now, after a third viewing, among my favorites, as it is in Christopher Nolan’s.

Ridley Scott’s equally visually stunning and emotionally resonant masterpiece “Blade Runner” is set in 2019. In the beginning of the 21st century, the Tyrell Corporation built the Replicant – a robot that is practically identical to a human being. The newest replicants are stronger, more agile and at least as intelligent as their creators.

They’re used off-world as slave labour for the dangerous exploration and colonization of planets. After a bloody mutiny in a planetary colony, replicants were declared illegal on earth. Under penalty of death.

Special police squads – Blade Runner units – were dispatched to “retire” any passing replicant. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is assigned to kill four replicants who hijacked a spaceship and returned to Earth to find their master. A dystopian detective story begins.

With elements of sci-fi, drama, action, and even film noir, “Blade Runner” is an interesting movie. The longer the film goes on, the deeper it ventures into the depths of the human mind, and how we think of life. Director Ridley Scott charms the audience with still-convincing special effects and keeps them in the theatre with characters who you come to care about.

The Rutger Hauer-played replicant is not really a bad guy. All he wants is “life,” he says. Deckard falls in love with a woman who turns out to be a replicant, and finds out she’s been given memories and doesn’t know she’s a replicant. Deckard doesn’t seem to have a family and there is no talk of his childhood, so we realize he could be a replicant himself.

There’s no confirmation of this, but that’s why we love filmmaking. Paradoxes such as this, unconfirmed things can exist in the film world. Ridley Scott no doubt realizes that and through Deckard’s character, makes us think. This kind of could-be style is also apparent in the earlier-mentioned Christopher Nolan’s films. More specifically, “Inception.” Cobb could have been dreaming all the time, we’re never told. I love these kinds of things.

“Blade Runner” is accompanied by an electronic Vangelis score, which is most suitable for this kind of dystopian future picture. The music is, at times, even beautiful. Especially in the opening scene when a 2019 Los Angeles is shown from bird’s-eye view.

No matter how you look at it, “Blade Runner” is a great film. It transmits philosophical ideas, it displays visual effects credible to this day, the action is brilliant, the performances are magnificent, the whole movie is great. Having watched it a third time, I’m happy to call “Blade Runner” one of my favorites.

Rating: ★★★★





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