“Blade Runner” stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. Released on June 25, 1982, the film is about an ex-cop who is assigned to track down a fugitive group of bioengineered androids.
The film is directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed films such as Alien, Gladiator, and The Martian. It is based on the 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick. About 35 years ago, Ridley Scott followed up his science fiction classic, Alien, with another science fiction film about a dystopian city filled with futuristic cops and synthetic human-like robots. At first, it was a mixed bag for critics and audiences alike, and it didn’t perform that well at the box office, but as the years passed since its release, it was hailed as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. Not only that, but it also marked the beginning of a series of Philip K. Dick film adaptations. Truth be told, I have not seen the whole thing of this film, not even tiny bits of it, despite the fact that it has Harrison Ford in it. With Blade Runner 2049 heading into theaters this weekend, I decided to rent the film from Amazon and see if it’s as great as they said it is. There are several different versions of “Blade Runner” that were released, but for this review, I will be looking at the latest version that was released in 2007: the “Final Cut” version.
Set in the year 2019, the film focuses on a former police officer named Rick Deckard (Ford), a “blade runner” whose job is to track down robotic beings known as replicants and “retire” them, and by that, I mean murder every last of them. As his quest deepens, Deckard discovers a series of clues that will cause him to question his mission as well as his existence. When you see a plot like this, you usually think that it’s going to be an R-rated, action-packed thrill ride. In reality, however, it’s more along the lines of a dialogue-driven, neo-noir science fiction drama with some small bits of R-rated violence thrown into it. While it’s fine for people who are into films filled with interrogation and some metaphoric dialogue, I believe that those who like to watch a lot of gunfire or fistfights might find this one a bit disappointing or, in this case, boring. As for me, I thought the story was nicely crafted in terms of its themes and its dystopian setting, but it’s not something that I would watch over and over again. The main reason why is the film’s pacing. It’s not painfully slow, but with the amount of dialogue-filled scenes that are shown in “Blade Runner”, it’s slow enough to almost make me lose my attention. One of the things that stand out in the film is the cast. Harrison Ford delivered a very solid performance as Rick Deckard as well as Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty, the leader of the replicant group who wants to extend his life. Hauer’s performance is mostly known through his character’s monologue in the film’s third act that showcases his true nature, which I thought was very well-written. The movie also did an incredible job at creating a unique dystopian future with its astonishing visuals, production design, and its artistic cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth. It makes me wonder why we didn’t have something like this during our current time.
Overall, while a lot of people consider “Blade Runner” to be a sci-fi classic, I, on the other hand, consider it to be a visually-stunning interrogation film. It does have plenty of pacing issues and the story’s dialogue-driven moments may leave plenty of action junkies either disappointed or bored, but it’s basically one of those types of films that should be noticed by its technical achievements rather than just its storytelling, especially its fascinating dystopian setting. I didn’t actually think it was that great, but it wasn’t bad, either. It was a pretty good sci-fi movie, in my opinion. If you like some of Scott’s other films or if you enjoy watching Harrison Ford in his movies, this one’s worth checking out, but don’t expect it to have a lot of action in it.
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