Sunday, May 15, 2011

063 - Blade Runner (1982)

DVD Box
Blade Runner is the futuristic story of a man who has to fight robots who have illegally entered earth.

Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a retired Blade Runner, a group of elite people that have previously policed the earth looking for robots (known as replicants) that have returned following their expulsion some years before.

He is sent on a mission to annihilate four robots who hijacked a ship in order to return to earth to meet the man that manufactured them. Their motive is clear - as humans made the robots to have a four-year lifespan as a fail-safe against developing human emotions, they want this reversed so that they can live peacefully off earth for longer.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Blade Runner is essentially a story of morality about the levels of humanity that robots can display become before they should be allowed their own rights. The story is clever in the way that it doesn't fall onto either side of the fence but it does have a crazy way of doing so.

The storyline, from the beginning, is extremely difficult to follow. There are many, many reviews on IMDb about how people have hated this film on first viewing and then fully understood its purpose and moral standing on a second, third or fourth viewing. Unfortunately, I haven't had that luxury, so what will follow will be a controversial review to many.

It is possible to see a few elements of Alien in the landscaping and music work from this film and it is clear to see that director Ridley Scott was influenced with elements from his 1979 film. Unfortunately, unlike Alien it doesn't feel like anywhere near a completed work.

Despite a strong opening sequence, the film's many flaws start to creep in. Beginning with the setting - I can't imagine that even Ridley Scott himself thought that in 2019 (37 years after the film's release) humans would have developed robots with near-human emotions, let alone cars that fly and space travel so advanced it makes Neil Armstrong look like a caveman.


Deckard's emotional involvement with a replicant defies everything that the film teaches about robots and humans being so very different, and while this may seem to some like a clever method of developing the moral boundaries, it just feel like an absolute contradiction and a way of shoving a loosely put together love story in your face.

Overall, I may watch this film again to try and gain further understanding but for now... I'd rather re-watch Alien.

StarStar

6 comments:

  1. Was this the theatrical cut or director's? If the second, I'm shocked at two stars. One of my favourite films of all time.

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  2. This was the "final cut".

    It did feel like I was missing something throughout the film, so perhaps it should be watched again in order to understand exactly what it was trying to achieve.

    I watched the film with two other people - one walked out after an hour and the other was my girlfriend who was surprised that I was over-generous with two stars!

    As mentioned though, I did read a lot of IMDb reviews that mentioned that they didn't 'get it' first time, so I hope I'll be one of those people....

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  3. "Beginning with the setting - I can't imagine that even Ridley Scott himself thought that in 2019 (37 years after the film's release) humans would have developed robots with near-human emotions, let alone cars that fly and space travel so advanced it makes Neil Armstrong look like a caveman."

    Isn't the whole point of sci-fi/fantasy films to create fantastical worlds? I can't ever imagine we'll be seeing sights from Star Wars in the near future! Personally I thought the futuristic setting was really imaginative and fun and really complemented the excellent soundtrack.

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  4. Whenever you set a film so close to the current date this is a risk that you take. Back To The Future is one such example where the future is far, far different to the film.

    Because Blade Runner is a more 'serious' film, this is one flaw that irritated me. Star Wars was set in "a galaxy far, far away", and overcomes this by not including Earth - never mind a year.

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  5. Well, it's not like Scott created the world, Philip K. Dick did. Maybe the reading of the book series helps with understanding the film ! Do androids dream of electric sheep is brilliant.

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  6. You have totally missed the points of the movie.
    It doesn't matter if the date of 2019 is incorrect, it is about a possible future. It is not about "A man who has to fight robots", the replicants in the movie were not robots, but genetically engineered beings, not much different to humans. There is a difference. It is about the morality of genetic engineering ie: do we have the right to create beings with the same basic emotions as us and then treat them as sub human or slaves? The movie was also about what our future environment might look like, with over population and pollution. Of course none of this might ever happen, but it is supposed to make you think. It is not E.T.

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