Director: Ridley Scott
Written by: Hampton Fancher, David Peoples.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel.
Running time: 117 min.
Note: I believe I watched the 2007 'final cut', if that makes any difference.
Okay. No, I hadn't seen Blade Runner before now. You can finally put the pitchforks down: it is crossed off my essential watchlist.
Yet, you might wanna hold onto the pitchforks a little longer. Chances are, I probably didn't like it as much as you.
Now, let me rephrase that: I did quite like the film. Hell, there were even parts that I loved about it. But let's just say this was more of an "it's not you, it's me" kind of situation. My aversion to both sci-fi films and 1980's films kinda let me down, hampering the entertainment sides of things. But while I may not have been fully into it, I could definitely appreciate it.
The film is nearing it's 30th birthday, and soon we'll be nearing the year in which it was set. I love watching futuristic sci-fi's like this, just because they had such an advanced vision for us that we probably won't be reaching by their set dates. Hey, a lot can happen in seven years, but I don't think flying cars are going to come for us any time soon. Immature thoughts on Blade Runner's future aside, I thought the art direction and special effects were perhaps the best that I've ever seen. Neon is certainly used a lot, which contributes to the dated look (neon was so 80's), but the lit up, claustrophobic atmosphere used in the futuristic Los Angeles is a sight to behold. In a world where these effects are achieved by using over-saturated CGI which usually doesn't look at all real, Blade Runner's effects are like a breath of fresh air. Ridley Scott's direction matches that, particularly in the wide shots where you see Los Angeles which are, for lack of a better description, mind-blowing. Jeez, if I saw this back in 1982, I would have probably had a heart attack or something.
I think my problem with the film, though, was the narrative. The film, for the most part, ticked all of the boxes. But just as I was presented with this strange, complicated world, I never felt like the actual story matched up with that. The film has very odd pacing, which threw me on my first watch. I guess I was one of those people who was expecting a badass, action-packed film, which is certainly different to what I got. When I first watched the film (a week ago), I found it hard to appreciate it, but upon a second watch, I started to get a little more involved with it. The themes of humans without emotions was quite interesting, and one I'd probably get even more invested in if I watched it again. But as it was, I found it extremely hard to get emotionally invested in the film, which is something that I always search for - because I'm old-fashioned like that. Mind you, the ending (which I understand is different depending on what version you watch) was pretty darn cool, I thought. That final line - "it's a shame she won't live, but then again, who does?" - sends shivers down my spine.
However, it is easy to see the influence that the film has had on some of the films we see today. It is complex and visceral, and often delving into the dark side. It is an important part of film history, becoming a definitive, yet very different part of the science fiction genre. Yet, while it's influence does seep through into today's films, I don't think anyone could make a film like it. It is the kind of film that was great for when it was made, but got even better as time went on. While I'm hesitant to say things like "this is the best movie I've ever seen!", there's no denying that this is an important film. My appreciation towards it doesn't know any bounds. Alas, it doesn't go much further than that.
Come back to me in a few years. I have a feeling that great things take time.
What I got: