A dark, thought-provoking, philosophical, complex, visually stunning, timeless science fiction classic!
As a huge science-fiction geek, this is a film I have been looking forward to reviewing for a long time (especially with Blade Runner 2049 coming to theaters this weekend). The setting of Blade Runner is in a dystopian Los Angeles 2019 where advanced androids known as Replicants (made by the Tyrell Corporation) have been enslaved on off-world colonies. A coup from the Replicants ultimately caused the government to prevent them from living on Earth and police officers (known as Blade Runners) are ordered to kill or "retire" any Replicant they find in their sights. The film tells the story of Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) a well-renowned Blade Runner who is tasked with retiring 4 Replicants who have come to Earth to gain more lifespan from their creator Mr Tyrell. But Deckard is struggling with his secret love for a Replicant named Rachael, who causes him to question his values both as a lawman and as a human.
Blade Runner is one the most fascinating science-fiction films I've ever seen for many different reasons. The opening 5 minutes are enough to make someone gaze in wonder at the world they're being introduced to. This is due to the outstanding visual style + practical effects/sets, providing an insightful look at what our societal future could look like 2 years from now with new advancements in technology and commercialization.. Also, the musical score by Vangelis is very mesmerizing and blends in perfectly with the film's futuristic/cyberpunk setting. This film sets up a very noir atmosphere not just because of the visuals, but due to the underlying themes of racism/oppression, law struggles, technology advancements, and what it means to be human. All of the characters in this film are shown to have different flaws + conflicting emotions/motivations on how to survive in a very bleak society. There is a morally complex nature to these characters that develops throughout the film, mainly because of the wonderful performances from the main actors. Harrison Ford gives perhaps the most layered and subtle performance of his career (compared to his more charming movie characters in Star Wars + Indiana Jones). In this film, Ford shows how Deckard is a flawed, drunk anti-hero who is on the edge of his moral compass as a Blade Runner. As he hunts down the Replicants but also falls in love with Rachael, Deckard begins to discover more about himself as he questions the merits of the law and which people he really is serving in this society. His love for Rachael allows him to break the common mentality of oppressing Replicants as he connects with with her and creates a more human personality to his already relentless nature in the law. The main antagonist Roy Batty (who is the leader of the 4 Replicants) is also quite captivating because despite his menacing presence, he is shown to have a clear motivation to gain more life and to experience true human nature rather than being condemned by the law for his image as a Replicant. The film explores Batty's and Deckard's development of people trying to find their place in society and the similar qualities they share despite belonging to different species. The complex characters and themes are all results of the clever writing (which is based off a famous Phillip K Dick novel) and dialogue scenes between the main characters, especially involving an iconic, emotional monologue in the climax + the film's highly debated ending. One thing that I want to stress to audiences is that although Blade Runner has a captivating story, it does take a while for the film to progress its plot since major parts of the film involve slow building suspense and lengthy sequences of Deckard tracking down the Replicants. There are a few action sequences (Replicants getting shot, a man getting blinded, a fight in the rain, an intense finale). But at the film's core it is a thinking film, a character piece, a social commentary, and a philosophical tale of man vs machine that younger audiences should be exposed to. I feel that Blade Runner is a film that needs to be watched multiple times in order for audiences to truly grasp its societal messages and steadily recognize the influence the film has had over many generations. Therefore, the film is best suited for mature young adults and above who can acknowledge the film's complexity within its characters + themes. If you're a film lover, a science-fiction geek, or someone who enjoys a unique story, I highly recommend watching Blade Runner (The Final Cut to be exact) :)
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness