In a cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside Earth but with fixed lifespans. In Los Angeles, 2019, Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specialises in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when five replicants escape from an offworld colony to Earth.
/ Hong Kong
Directed by: Ridley Scott
. Starring: Harrison Ford
, Rutger Hauer
, Sean Young
, Edward James Olmos
, M. Emmet Walsh
, Daryl Hannah
, William Sanderson
, Brion James
, Joe Turkel
, Joanna Cassidy
, James Hong
, Morgan Paull
, Kevin Thompson
. Music by: Vangelis
The one line summary says it all. Ridley Scott with the aid of a brilliant crew (director of photography, SFX team and a decent music score) managed to shoot one of the most astonishingly impressive films ever but with a thin paper plot and an unnecessarily slow pace. It could as well be a short film. As it is it's just a 40 minutes story stretched to a 2 hours time slot.
First the positive points: Blade Runner gives an original and splendid mix of stylistic themes. It combines the film noir atmosphere of the 1940 's (the detective who "falls for the wrong woman", the clouded alley streets etc) with futuristic sets (flying cars, colourful lights, advanced computer technology) and strangely it maintains the present day reality of a detective thriller of the 80 's or even the 90 's. The result is a wonderful surrealistic background, timeless and not at all dated. This diachronic atmosphere is a very successful depiction of the vision of many famous sci-fi writers, and I am not referring necessarily to Philip Dick. Sci - fi writers usually describe futuristic societies with an amalgam of elements from different historic periods and this is exactly the case with this film. I will have to shake hands with the SFX crew because the overhead take in the beginning of the movie where we get a panoramic view of the colourful-lighted scyscrapers is unbelievably good. Even now, 20 years later, when technology has evolved so much, I still haven 't seen such a convincing simulated image in a movie. For example Judge Dredd (1995) and Fifth Element (1997) tried to walk on the same path but with limited success. But the real kudos must go to the cinematographer because his work is in one word excellent. The cinematography is simply excellent and I doubt if it will be ever topped. It is the soul of the movie and the most representative sample of the spirit the film-makers tried to capture. Unfortunately due to a lame script they failed. Which leads us to the negative points: slight spoilers coming.
This film tries to be philosophical and mind intriguing but it simply doesn 't work. The silence and the slow pace add nothing to the film. No, the film doesn 't pose metaphysic questions about the essence of life and the borders between artificial intelligence and real existence, as the fans and the snobbish critics insist (keep in mind that back in the 1982 they panned it). The only controversial scene is when Dechard(Harrison Ford) shoots down the dancer Zhora played by Joanna Cassidy. This is a violent bloody murder and one of them most depressing killing scenes in cinematic history. It is obvious that the "termination" of a replicant is still homicide of an intelligent entity. If the rest of the film managed to retain the same climate it would indeed be "philosophic". Unfortunately we have a letdown to scattered scenes of erotic hypnotized innuendo between Dechard and Rachael and inane sleepy dialogue between Roy (Rutger Hauer) and Pris(the unrecognizable Daryl Hannah). All this leads to a disappointing anti-climactic finale. No, it is not at all poetic and if the idea was good spoiler Roy ultimately saving Decard the execution was horrible. I believe the main problem of the film was the acting. Although the casting was successful none of the actors gave a memorable performance. They all sleep-walked through their roles except from the a kicking Cassidy. Now I reckon they were supposed to be deadpan to fit in the film noir climate but it didn 't take. Although Ford was likeable in his short haircut and had a weird chemistry with Sean Young they didn 't capture the viewer 's heart to the point they should. The ONLY character you root for is actually Sebastian (William Sanderson) who suffers from untimely anility at the age of 25 and hosts the replicants in his house. He is terrified of what is happening but can 't do anything to prevent it. I haven 't read the novel but I have downloaded the original screenplay and there are differences which would have made a slightly better film SPOILERS read at your own risk
1) The truth test to certify if Rachael was a replicant was quite longer e.g. it contained the lines "What would you do if a wasp landed on your hand" "I would slap it and kill it"
2) There was another replicant called Mary who lived with Roy and Pris in Sebastian 's house. She was dispatced easily before Pris jumps -literally- on Dechard. She had about 5 lines throughout the whole film so she was easily omitted.
3) The scene in the bar where Decart meets the replicant was also longer. The replicant had cockroaches for pets and he urged Ford to kiss one of them! Ultimately Deckard was the one who shot the replicant and not Rachael.
4) Roy didn 't only kill his creator scientist but also all his assistants and his family including his cute little 8 year old son. Sebastian actually was not murdered by him in that incident but unfortunately he inevitably bited the dust in the finale by the stray bullets from Dechart who gatecrashed Sebastian 's home.
5) The final duel between Roy - Dechart was actually a more successful shoot 'em up scene than those dreadfully sophomoric lines by Rutger Hauer who broke two fingers of Ford and suddenly he stopped for no apparent reason wanting pretentiously to show the supremacy of the replicants to the humble human kind. I cannot understand why everyone bashed the film 's happy ending and said it left unanswered questions. If you want to know the original script had the two leads go to a snowy forest. Dechart leaves and Rachael commits suicide with a gun since this was their common decision as the best solution!!!! The movie would end with a voice-over narration from Ford " I was glad because now they wouldn 't be able to set their hands upon her " (and harm her). Would you prefer THAT??? As i said impressive eye candy is not enough for a good film. BR is a landmark but just like the case with the horrible dull "Alien" (at least BR is watchable) a groundbreaking "classic" is not always a good movie. All in all a rather disappointing
Don 't expect much of a story and you will like it. Oh, I almost forgot spoiler Dechart IS a replicant. In the middle of the film in his house when he talks with Rachael, Rachael 's red-shine in the eyes is shown and then Dechard 's eyes come to screen and indisputably the same red shine is CLEARLY VISIBLE.
Review by timefreezer7 from the Internet Movie Database.