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Blade Runner

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Brion James, Joe Turkel, William Sanderson, M. Emmet Walsh

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Review by AlexI
4 stars out of 4

In our time a good science fiction film is a rare artifact and a true treasure. The essence, the heart of the genre, the endless possibilities of imagination are now replaced with primitive action sequences and impressive special effects. The result is that the genre (especially in the 90s) has become a synonimum for dumb and predictable "popcorn films". That is why we have to look back at the time passed to find good science fiction films. Every genre has its masterpieces. And "Blade Runner" is one of them. As a falling star it has lit up the sky, opening new ways of science fiction by defining its own genre.

Not since Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" has it been such a complex, thought provoking and sophisticated science fiction film. It is a strangely compelling and humanistic detective story, set in L.A., year 2019. Humanity has expanded far beyond the Earth, engaged in the eternal quest for new frontiers. Those left behind are too old, infirm, poor or stubborn to escape for the off-world colonies; they're stuck with the dregs of civilization, as represented by a gloomy, rain-sodden Los Angeles. The only flies in the ointment are artificial humans, colloquially known as replicants, deployed in the most hazardous of environments. These artificial humans are designed to serve man, by doing all the "dirty" and dangerous work, such as warfare and collonisation of other planets. In their latest incarnation, Nexus 6, these replicants have surpassed their makers, a moment of transition. On Earth rogue replicants are outlawed, a hazard that demands execution. So when a replicant unit is discovered in LA, the police assign their blade runner division to the clean-up operation. It seems that the replicants are trying to infiltrate the Tyrell Corporation, the monolithic entity that built them, presided over by genius Eldon Tyrell (Joseph Turrkel). Rick Decard (Harrison Ford) is one of the unfortunate blade runners, that are stuck on earth, forced into taking up the chase.

"Blade Runner" is a brilliant analyses of the earth, human kind, its development and evolution. An interesting fact is that Chinese has become the new main language, since the world is mostly populated by the oriental population. The world of the future is cold, dark and unfriendly. It is a time of decay, fear, trash,neon and promises of clean air, blue waters and green grass. The film also presents a great deal of dazzling special effects and some of the most original art direction I have ever seen. From the very beginning of the film we see the grand skyscrapers and buildings that arise from the dark, almost dead soil. The art director has been inspired by the Mayan and Egyptian architecture, combining it with Ultra modern art design. The result is mesmerizing and wonderfully imaginative, and yet never completely alien.

Director Ridley Scott has transformed Philip K. Dick's novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' beyond recognition. Along side with screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, he uses his ideas as a philosophical launching pad. The film takes place in the middle of a silent war between humans and artificial humans. Through the film both sides pose the very same global questions: who am I? where am I going? This leads the audience to concider the very essence of humanity itself. What makes us human? Memories? Sentience? Thoughts? Ideas? Feelings? Does it really matter if they ar artificial? And if they are, does it make them less human? This is all thought provoking and original material that has been copied throughout the years. Surprisingly enough, the film loose as fresh and original as at its premiere in 1982.

The cast, consisting of 10 cast members, is nothing less than fabulous. Harrison Ford is believable as the sad and quite Deckard - angry, hurt and vulnerable. Forced to stay on earth, with no choice but to hunt for the replicants. Falling in a certain apathy, he feels that he has absolutely nothing to live for. His love interest, played by Sean Young, portrays innocence and vulnerability, warmth and consideration, projecting an image of what we concider humanity. When she turns out to be a replicant, we are forced to pose the basic question: what makes us human? Rutger Huer, as the leader of the rebel replicants, is the most captivating. He is charismatic via lyricism, some memorable lines ("All those memories will be lost in tears in the rain.."), but mostly by his pationate nature and desperate love of life. Off course there are some characters in this film that are created to give a more vivid and live image of future society. The ingenious creator of the replicants, Dr.Eldon Tyrel (Joseph Turel) is a cold, sinister character that became corrupted by the opportunity of playing God. Another interesting character is J.F.Sebastion, a previously attractive and respected genetic designer, he is now suffering of a terrible illness that stops him from moving to the Off-world colonies. Living in almost complete isolation, he makes his own friends, creatures that resemble characters from fairytales and sagas, so that he won't feel alone. There are many bizarre characters and events in the film that make it more interesting and captivating. The fabulous cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth, combined with Richard Hart's lightning frames the characters and the story in beauty and imagination. All are the part of the warmly , symbolic whole, a mood enchanted by Vangelis' magical and dreamy score. A music that is intimate and distant at the same time. This may be the best soundtrack Vangelis ever created.

The film ends in a monstrous, violent and emotionally engaging finale, that makes a lasting impression. 'Blade Runner' is a unique film, incredible on every level. This is a prophetic and emotional tale that stands out as one of the most original and intellectual science fiction films ever made.

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