Reviews: Blade Runner
Great film, weakened by pseudo-dramatic twist (spoilers!)
Blade Runner is a hugely influential film, and for a very good reason. Its vision of the big, rain-drenched, corporate-owned city is still just a stunning now as it was 30 years ago. Its storyline is probably the most profound out of all classical sci-fi, with the possible exception of Gattaca. The central drive for the narrative is the question of what it means to be human, omnipresent throughout the film but most pointed in scenes with Rachel. However, a number of other films (like IRobot) also deal with that question. What makes Blade Runner truly great are the other themes it addresses, be it the morality of creating sentient beings for ulterior purposes and with no chance to define their own life or the nigh-universal desire for longevity and struggle to come terms with death, brilliantly embodied by Ronald Batty and all his monologues. Nearly every scene in the film is loaded with questions like these, both implicit and explicit. Needless to say, those themes would never strike home with inferior actors, and all of them are brilliant, as is soundtrack and Ridley Scott’s cinematography. Of course, the film does have its downsides. Most of the dedicated action scenes are rather sub-par. The final battle with Batty in an abandoned apartment block is an exception, brilliantly filmed and soaked with tension. It is no coincidence that this is only scene where Harrison Ford’s Deckard attacks first. In all other scenes, Deckard is a supposed expert Replicant killer who always manages to get ambushed by them get his ass kicked in rather predictable ways. This is especially apparent in the scenes with Zhora, whose character gets no distinct lines and seems to be present mainly for Fanservice. The greatest weakness of the film, however, is the final twist, which establishes Deckard as a Replicant, and Ridley Scott goes to confirm this as well. It significantly blunts what is otherwise a chillingly ambiguous ending: if they kept the origami figure but removed the unicorn dream and perhaps added a line or two about Deckard intending to test himself, we would be left with true uncertainty about the future of Rachel and Deckard, forced to question every action that happened in the film and decide for ourselves. Thanks to the twist, we now know they’re both Replicants and will be dead soon, which significantly curbs the mystery.
Oh, boy, we're in trouble...
Understand that this review is based on the '92 director's cut. I don't know why fellow nerds love this film. It drags on with its scenery, the characters barely do anything, and this film is just BORING. Seriously, I watched this in a double feature with Alone in the Dark, and I was more entertained by THAT than Blade Runner. Fellow nerds and geeks, prepare to sharpen your knives and pitchforks... THIS MOVIE SUCKS. (I might just be under the effect of Seinfeld Is Unfunny however...)
My Favorite for a Reason
Being a bookworm, I never really thought that a film adaptation could ever best the book it was based on, let alone overwhelmingly outshine it, and yet this is what Blade Runner accomplished. A visual masterpiece that breaks my heart to this day- the rain caught in the neon lights, the mist atop the buildings, the alien glow in a pupil- everything is a visual feast that takes my breath away. An in depth discussion of the nature of humanity featuring one of cinema's most underrated antagonists. Blade Runner is one of the best (if not the best) discussions of what makes someone human: the replicants can bleed and develop feelings and be as human as physically possible but the fact that they were created in a lab resigns them to life as servants and lesser creatures. Over the film, Deckard begins to questions his own humanity with every replicant he retires. One of the best parts about this movie was actually the result of an accident. The number of escaped replicants was incorrect which led to a goof of an extra missing replicant, a hole that would be filled by Deckard's questionable humanity. It sends shivers down my spine that such a silly mistake served to elevate the film even higher in its examination of humanity by making you and the protagonist question his own existence. But the best part is the ending where Batty saves Deckard's life and monologues about his own short existence, cloaked in a blue mist, bathed in a neon glow and silver drops as his life slowly ends to the tune of his own elegant final words. I can't properly describe my love for this film- I can only recommend that if you love excellent cinematography, sci-fi, and deep philosophical discussions, you should absolutely see this film.