Anthony's Film Review

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner presents an interesting vision of the future but with a somewhat slow story...

Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and loosely based on a story by Philip K. Dick, seems to be one of those movies where you either love it or hate it. This was something I wasn't aware of before seeing it. All I heard before then was that it's a great science-fiction classic, which inspired me to check it out. Now I know that it can divide the audience and that I'm not going to be in the supporter camp. At the same time, I don't think Blade Runner is a terribly bad movie. Hence, I am pretty much on the fence when it comes to Blade Runner.

The first thing to note is that Blade Runner is not a sci-fi action adventure as its poster may suggest. It's better to describe it as a sci-fi noir drama that explores ideas rather than deliver excitement each second of the way. This leads to the main reason I liked Blade Runner: the setting and premise. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2019, a time when human-like robots called Replicants are created for slave labor off planet Earth. To ensure that Replicants do not develop emotions, they are designed to have a life span of only four years. Following a munity by Replicants, these robots are declared illegal on Earth.

When a group of Replicants enter planet Earth, a police officer named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is asked to put off retirement for one last assignment. Deckard isn't just any cop. He is a Blade Runner, specialized in killing ("retiring") illegal Replicants. His investigation takes him from the Tyrell Corporation, which makes Replicants, to the grimy streets of Los Angeles. Besides encountering his target Replicants, he also meets other characters, including a woman named Rachael (Sean Young) whom Rickard slowly develops an attraction to.

Regarding the cast, it's mostly an OK ensemble. Harrison Ford, I admit, isn't someone I could easily imagine as a toughened guy with short hair, and in fact, I sometimes didn't recognize him. But he's all right. The same for Sean Young as Rachael. On the other hand, the one performance that did stand out for me was Rutger Hauer as the Replicant named Roy. He is the Replicant who truly appears frightening, especially with his face. The other Replicants, in comparison, are somewhat bland and have much less screen time.

As for the plot, I will say that I enjoyed the climax involving the final Replicant, because it lasts for a while and Deckard really looks like he's reaching his physical limit. Other than that, the rest of the story seemed to move rather slowly. If you're expecting a plot with twists and turning points, you might be disappointed. From beginning to end, the plot seems to move in a nearly straight line. It moves slowly to accommodate the film's seemingly real purpose of exploring themes, which, to me, didn't feel as if it was done with much depth.

This is why I think Blade Runner is just an OK movie, slightly leaning towards the positive side if I am forced to choose one side or the other. While fans will no doubt call Blade Runner a classic, I will simply say that it's not the high point for the careers of people like Harrison Ford, Sean Young, and Ridley Scott, but it's not a low point, either. Just check it out if you're curious about works by these people aside from their better known films.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Blade Runner, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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