YMMV / Blade Runner

  • Action Survivor: While Deckard has the definite reputation of a Memetic Badass, he shows monumental difficulty in his fights against the replicants. A Justified Trope, as they are top of the line, highly advanced Cyborgs, with two designed for military use.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Does Rachael actually fall in love with Deckard or does she become his mistress because she knows it's the only way she can avoid being retired by other Bladerunners?
    • Does Gaff let Rachael go because he has a moment of compassion, wants Deckard's job, or because a Bladerunner having a Replicant mistress is just part of the Dirty Cop nature of the work?
  • Broken Base: The different cuts, Deckard's true nature, the unicorn, etc.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Vangelis' soundtrack, especially the love theme, title theme, and "Blade Runner Blues".
  • Cult Classic: Has become so ubiquitous in pop culture that it's hard to picture now, but at one time the film was very much this.
  • Death of the Author: One of the reasons Deckard's being a replicant or not is still hotly debated is because no definite answer was given in the film, and the filmmakers give contradictory answers when asked.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Roy Batty is an Anti-Villain with sympathetic motivations, but he's still a ruthless murderer who's willing to resort to Cold-Blooded Torture. His villainous traits tend to get overlooked by fans, especially given his Redemption in the Rain and moving Final Speech.
  • Ear Worm: The end titles.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Gaff. In the Westwood Studio's video game, he's something of a Stealth Mentor.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Most of the antagonists are depicted as almost flawless beings, superior in both mind and body to normal humans (who for the most part are portrayed as grizzled and beaten down). This is especially true of Roy, who as the ‹bermensch is built like a Greek god. Both of the female replicants are also quite easy on the eyes and none of them are above using sexual persuasion as a tool to get what they want (Both Priss and Roy come onto Sebastian in an attempt to persuade him to help them, and Zhora is designed for political assassinations which probably involve the promise of sex as a way of getting closer to the target and she shamelessly uses her own nude body as a distraction when Deckard comes for her).
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: The narration in the theatrical cut is kind of dreadful, and veers straight into this at the end of the film.
  • Genre Turning Point: The film's unique and widely praised visualization of the future was not only widely copied by other films (sci-fi and otherwise), it either influenced or anticipated the way large cities would look, particularly at night, in the early 21st century.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The "Blade Runner Curse" is a bit of folklore developed around the film centered on how many of the companies with prominent Product Placement in the film would go bankrupt or go through disastrous setbacks in the following decade:
    • Atari was hammered by The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, barely survived, and is now a shadow of its former self.
    • Pan-Am is long extinct.
    • Coca-Cola launched the infamous New Coke shortly after the movie was released, but managed to bounce back stronger than ever.
    • Bell was broken up for monopolistic practices.
    • Cuisinart went bankrupt and was bought out by a rival company, living on only as a brand name (and a joke on Spaceballs).
    • RCA (big neon sign out Deckard's apartment window), as a company, bit the dust in '86. (The name is still trademarked by Technicolor, however, and sometimes used on products that come from its licensees, as well as the venerable record label.)
    • Polaroid photos are seen in the movie — the Polaroid company still exists today but has ceased making cameras and film.
    • TDK, whose sign appears on the building opposite the Bradbury near the end, seems to have made it through more or less OK—although its sign is partially obscured.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Backlash: With a movie being hailed as a masterpiece of sci-fi, a good many people might walk away feeling disappointed, praising the visuals and some of the acting, but feeling that the story was hollow and empty.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "CROSS NOW. CROSS NOW. CROSS NOW. CROSS NOW. DON'T WALK. DON'T WALK. DON'T WALK. DON'T WALK." Word of God says the traffic signals were intentionally made to sound annoying.
  • Narm:
    • The unicorn from Deckard's dream sequence.
    • It was supposed to be terrifying, but Roy Batty chasing after Deckard, howling like a wolf, and smashing his head through walls like a cartoon character? Amusing.
    • Roy biting his own fist.
    • The dying Pris thrashing on her back as if she's throwing a temper tantrum. Even between viewings, this scene doesn't necessarily age well. It does not help that the female stunt actress was too exhausted to do the preceding scenes and they had to get a man in poor makeup to do it.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Westwood Studios released a lovingly faithful Adventure Game based on this movie in 1997. The game featured randomized plot points and the player's actions could lead the game towards thirteen different alternate endings.
    • The 1985 game for the 8-BIT home computers, on the other hand, was nothing special. Though, for rights reasons, that's technically an adaptation of the Vangelis sound track.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Giant buildings, neon lights, multicultural cities, film noir aesthetics, and lots and lots of rain? Meh, we've seen it all before. The film's visuals and themes proved to be such an influence on Cyber Punk and gritter science fiction works that its virtually impossible for them not to reference the film in some form or another, and as a consequence, the impact can be somewhat lost on audiences who have already seen the many imitators and their intellectual androids, ugly dystopias, and drunken future cops.
  • Special Effects Failure
    • The skies above Batty when he releases the dove were supposed to be grimly grey, causing an unintended Cue the Sun moment. This was changed in the 2007 "Final Cut." Crew members stated in a behind-the-scenes documentary that this error occurred because they couldn't get the dove to fly in the rain. The water soaked the bird's feathers and made it too heavy to take off, so they eventually had to resort to filming the scene without the rain.
    • In many scenes featuring a Spinner (flying car), the cables lifting the car up are clearly visible. Like the dove, these are fixed in the Final Cut.
  • Too Cool to Live: Roy Batty.
    Tyrell: You were made as well as we could make you.
    Roy: But not to last.
    Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Played straight with the film's look and themes. The inevitability of death and mortality are both a major focus of the story, as is self-doubt and a feeling of entrapment, plus a good deal of existential angst over what it means to be human. Further emphasized by the Miltonian antagonist Roy Batty, Deckard's apparent alcoholism and depression, and the deliberately and artistically dark neo-noir aesthetic to highlight these themes.
    • Goes full well for the 1997 video game as well. Ray is subject to mind games from multiple factions, making him question his own identity and humanity. In one of the endings Clovis laments that he spent his final days fighting and killing in a futile attempt to find a way to extend his own life and the lives of his fellow replicants instead of cherishing the time he had left with his friends.
  • Uncanny Valley: Sebastian's toys are played by little people in prosthetics, and make some very inhuman, jerky movements. The replicants avert this trope as they are so human, physically and emotionally, but the scene where Pris disguises herself as one of the toys has her wearing some pretty Uncanny Valley Makeup.
  • Values Dissonance: The whole initial meeting with Zhora reeks of this, as it's treated as an I Know You Know I Know, with Deckard asking if she was asked to do anything unsavory to get her job as a stripper, and the unsavory nature of her job in general making such questions a joke. In the 21st century the view of sex workers has changed enough that such questions would actually be quite normal, making sure her consent was never violated.
  • Vindicated by History: Upon its initial release, the film was advertised as an action movie, met with mixed reviews and an underwhelming box office performance. In the ensuing years it became a Cult Classic, and is now generally considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The designs and the city will still blow you away, they literally changed sci-fi films.
  • The Woobie: Rachel and Sebastian.