Blade Runner (1982)

(The Good – 90.5) Few films can be truly described as seminal and Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic would intuitively seem like a prime candidate given the fact that it has become a landmark in science fiction. However, truth be told, it is such a singular achievement that nobody seems to have known how to pick up where Scott and company left off. Though many would argue that Alien is Scott’s crowning achievement, many directors proved capable of at least emulating the industrial sci-fi vibe which he forged in that film, resulting in a traceable sea change right across the genre. Blade Runner had no such obvious effects and when one takes in the breadth of both its technical and conceptual complexity one begins to suspect that it is because nobody knew how Scott did exactly what he did.

Based on a Philip K. Dick story, Blade Runner is set in a future when evolution in robotic technology has produced genetically engineered robots or ‘replicants’ which are almost completely indistinguishable from humans. When four of the most advanced and dangerous replicants escape their enslavement and make it to Earth, one of the few crack investigators (called ‘Blade Runners’) who can identify them is forced out of retirement to track them down and eliminate them.

Blade Runner is a spectacular film graced with sublime production design, unrivaled visual effects, and that mesmerising Vangelis score. However, it’s the qualitative experience of Scott’s futuristic vision that is so utterly captivating and such an experience can only be achieved when every aspect of the film-making process is pitch perfect. The actors from Harrison Ford as the Blade Runner to the improvisational Rutger Hauer as the nastiest of the replicants are totally in tune with the proceedings and provide that final touch of mastery to what surely must be one of the most impressive science fictions films ever made. It’s not always an easy watch because this is a darkly heavy and profoundly existential film. But stick with it and you’ll never forget it. (Director: Ridley Scott; Genre: Sci-Fi) 

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6 thoughts on “Blade Runner (1982)”

  1. My problem with BR has always been the things that make it a quote unquote classic-the production design, cinematography, fx and music. In short is BR a good movie? I say no. The story doesnt hold up under repeated viewings. All the technical stuff aside the story is the engine that makes a film go and BR’s is busted. Like 2001 this film is a technical achievement and a visual marvel but a good movie or a classic? I dont think so.

    1. I understand your point though I think films can do different things that are each valid. I think the experience of 2001 and to a lesser extent Blade Runner is something that I’m grateful for and enjoy when I’m in the right mood. For entertainment purposes, a story definitely helps, tho I love Repo Man and it twists the concept of narrative inside out. In a desert island situation I’d grab the story-based film every time. But if I was told I could only see one more movie ever, I’d go with the 2001′s of this world:)

      Thanks for stopping by AD!

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