FILM REVIEW - Blade Runner
By The Masked Medic
So I know that I said I would attempt to watch some classics, but often I find that I just don’t have time. However, me and my siblings have had a few days off and when my brother suggested that we watch ‘Blade Runner’, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to view and review one of the greatest cult films from the 1980s!
‘Blade Runner’ tells of a world, based in the future, but conveniently in 2019, where companies have created robots that are built to look just like human beings, and these robots are called “Replicants”. Unfortunately, after a certain time, it’s deemed that the use of these replicants is unethical and illegal. In order to deal with them, many police officers, codenamed, “Blade Runners” are sent with the task to kill them. That’s where we meet Rick Deckard who is an ex-police officer. Rick’s old boss calls him in with a job; to take down a gang of Replicants who are here on Earth. This gang consisting of four members has come to find their creators at the Tyrell Corporation, as they’ve found out they have limited time left of their lifespans. Rick initially goes to meet Dr Tyrell, where he is introduced to Rachael, Tyrell’s assistant. Rick discovers that she is a Replicant, although she has no idea initially, and his opinion of them begins to change. After tracking down and killing one of the Replicants, Zhora, Rick is ambushed by their powerhouse, Leon. He’s rescued by Rachael and in the ensuing moments realizes he’s developed feelings for her. Meanwhile the leader of the rogue group, Roy Batty, along with the last remaining member of his group, Pris, track down a man who will be able to get them into the Tyrell Corporation building to meet their creator. Time is against Rick. Can he stop these replicants? And just what will Rachael’s fate be?
Listen. It’s the 80’s. You’re looking for someone to play a broody action lead in what is going to become a cult classic. There’s clearly only one man for the job; Harrison Ford. Ford’s career is so interesting to me because he started off in small roles and then left to be a carpenter before returning to star as some of the most iconic characters ever. His performance in this film wasn’t his best, but it wasn’t bad either. Many of the other characters, including Rachael, Dr Tyrell and the majority of the Replicant gang were played by actors that I’d never heard of, despite my love for the 80s. I’d argue that they also weren’t particularly memorable in the roles that they played. In that sense, there isn’t much to say about the acting performances in this film. But before I move on, I should mention the one standout performance: the late Rutger Hauer who played the film’s villain, Roy Batty. Apparently, according to my mother, this guy always played villains and his face looked familiar. When I checked his filmography, it turns out he was William Earle in ‘Batman Begins’. Hauer put in quite a performance as Roy, he was cool and collected, and yet quite unnerving by the end of the film. The only character worth watching, to be honest!
Those of you that know me well, know that I’m a massive fan of the 80s. I wasn’t born in that decade, but everything about them was so over the top. ‘Blade Runner’ is no exception. It is steeped in much of the paraphernalia that the 80s were famous for. On the whole, I perhaps didn’t enjoy it as much as many have. I think compared to other sci-fi odysseys of the time, such as ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Star Wars’, the plot despite being highly interesting doesn’t entirely translate to an enthralling watch. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I think that Ridley Scott is a fantastic director and creator of some of the greatest films ever, I just feel that maybe, ironically, ‘Blade Runner’ is a little ahead of its time!
Right, that 80’s vibe. This film was filled with it. The cinematography is easily the highlight of the film. The graphics were actually quite good and the concept of all of those buildings and vehicles was fantastically done. That very much links into the music. The ’80s for me was filled with two things; Sci-Fi and synths. The guy on the synth machine in this film was having the time of his life, aha! Another interesting aspect of the music was the Arabic influence, which Ridley Scott does seem to love. Overall, this was an interesting film, that exceeds expectations in some aspects, but ultimately doesn’t fare well when considering its cult-like following!