Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BLADE RUNNER movie review

Blade Runner

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Running time: 117 minutes

Year: 1982

Directed By: Ridley Scott

Written By: Hampton Fancher & David Webb Peoples

Blade Runner is a film I had grown up hearing so much about, but one that I had never actually watched. It is a film that is often called the most inspirational and I hear it changed sci-fi movies for the better. Due to this I thought it was about time to sit down and watch it.

Harrison Ford plays Deckard, a cop in Los Angeles in 2019. LA is now entirely futuristic, which back in 1982 you may have presumed it would be but today you will see how away from the mark it is. It is home to giant billboards advertising anything and everything. A dark, gloomy, and wet atmosphere heavily influenced by the Japanese, and above all flying cars. To be fair some of it was right on the money. Deckard is a cop known as a blade runner. A blade runner is a certain unit that hunts down replicants (artificial humans) that were created for off-world work. Every now and again replicants go missing and blade runners must stop them and retire them. Deckard is brought out of his own retirement to hunt down six replicants who have escaped and are on Earth searching for their maker in order to prolong their life. Due to replicants growing emotion over time, each has a life span of four years, however when these replicants realise this they head to meet their creator and keep themselves alive. Deckard must stop them before they get too far, unfortunately for him he meets one of these replicants and falls in love with her. Does he retire her?

All of that is generally the back story and what you need to know to understand the basis of the film. Really the film is about Deckard hunting the replicants and falling in love. For those of you that have seen it you will understand what I am about to say, it isn't really about any of that. It is full of philosophical issues that will have you thinking after the film has finished. When this film was first released it wasn't well received and people have taken to it after numerous viewings and discussion. Believe me you must have to watch it more than once because I've seen it once and it is really dull. That may cause unrest with people but I have to say I didn't think much to it. I understand the philosophical views hidden deep but I don't see how that makes it a good movie. There is no real story. The themes could have still been explored with more going on but it was just a lot of sitting around and not doing much. It really wasn't what I was expecting. For starters the villain doesn't really show up till over an hour in, so far into it that I forgot there was even a bad guy. The love scenes didn't work as the characters weren't believable, I understand after reading discussions why that might be, but that isn't good for the average movie goer that wants to leave the cinema happy and finished with it. Not everyone likes to research into the movie. I can really see why it has taken time to be a cult film as it has given people time to put forward their theories which people will then relate to it on another viewing. I'm sorry but I don't get it.

I can however understand why it has influenced so much. The visuals alone are stunning, and the fact it was made twenty years ago is not noticeable. If it was released in cinemas tomorrow you would not have known it was made two decades ago. The production design completely outshines any story within this film. I can also see the influence within the philosophical themes and how they have opened up many questions. Are replicants human if they believe they are? In the film they are implanted with memories to make them believe they are real, but are they real if their memories aren't actually theirs? I get that these questions are well explored, and I do like to see this in a film, but I was not hooked on the story. It never really drew me in and I was waiting for the action to kick off and it never did. It was so disappointing. It does have brilliant things about it but the entire outcome of the film is completely dull. Hopefully over time I may come to like it and understand it more. Maybe I don't like it because I don't get it and maybe that is the problem. I'm sure people will completely disagree with this but something more had to grab my attention and it didn't.

The look of the film is the top draw of this movie. It looks absolutely fascinating, and I would say to watch it just to see how good it is. The acting is generally ok but nothing great. To be fair the characters were so dull that they had little to work with, although some are replicants so that could make sense. The love story is really forced and I never believed it. However there can be an explanation for all of this..... This could be a spoiler, but then again after watching it you'll realise it is not. Six replicants escape, we only ever meet five! Have a watch and you might understand why the movie is why it is.

2 / 5


Next film to review: HELLRAISER

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