Blade Runner is one of them films that has been on my ‘films I should have seen but haven’t’ list for years. Luckily the Final Cut has been replayed around cinemas all over the country and my local indie showed it last night.
I hate slow films. So when I was told this film would be slow I was prepared to have a quick nap in the cinema.
I didn’t get my nap.
Blade Runner is set in 2019, which was a bit further away in 1982 than what it is now. Anyway, Los Angeles is now a dystopian city which has gone through some shit. Retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is brought out of retirement when four Replicants come down to earth to extend their four-year life span, which is a characteristic of the Nexus 6 models. Replicants were created by humans but are now illegal. If any make it down to earth they are ‘retired’ – basically shot dead.
A fairly simple plot, but a pretty amazing film. Ford is great in the role of Deckard. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve seen very few films starring Harrison Ford and the ones I have seen have been bad ones, so it was good to see him in a decent role. (And I know there are several, I just need to watch them.) Ford’s performance left me wondering on a few occasions if he was a Replicant. I didn’t even realise it was a popular fan theory but I found the idea crossing my mind a few times. I’m still a bit unsure about it.
There are some problems in this film. The main one for me is the love story between Deckard and Rachael (Sean Young). I knew the moment the film started Deckard would fall for a Replicant. I don’t know why, I just kinda knew. I found this sub-plot to be a bit distracting from the main plot of catching the rogue replicants. The scene where Deckard stops Rachael from leaving his flat didn’t sit well with me and I was convinced he was going to turn evil and rape her or something.
However, whilst the love story was predictable I don’t think the rest of the film was. I was kept on edge the whole time. I’ll admit it – I jumped out my skin when the first gun was fired and from then on, I was terrified it would happen again right until the end credits rolled.
Blade Runner is full of amazing visuals. I know I viewed the 2007 version which has been digitally refurbished and cleaned up etc, but considering most of the hard stuff was done in the 80s, it looks amazing. Perhaps at times the technology comes across as ‘a bit 80s’ but Ridley Scott aint no time traveler. The one piece of technology I really liked was when Deckard spoke to Rachael through a video phone. It was just like Face Time!
The visuals are backed up by the amazing soundtrack composed by Vangelis. Full of synths and contemporary instruments the sound is very atmospheric and traditionally futuristic.
The film is ultimately about the fact that everyone/everything has to die. One of the final lines of the film is “It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again, who does?” It’s clear at the end of the film that Replicants were afraid of dying just as the average human is. They just went to extreme lengths to try to avoid the inevitable.
Fuck the faults, I really enjoyed this film and I’m glad I got to see it on the big screen. Whilst there are gaping plot holes and continuity errors everywhere the film is a piece of art. I am so excited for 2019! Them flying cars are awesome, best get all the overtime I can.