Blade Runner (1982)
The year is 2019; the city is Los Angeles. Earth has undergone massive population explosions in the urban areas, the city landscape is a mish-mash of every culture, and almost everywhere you go there are advertisements. The most prominent of these advertisements is a floating space-barge advertising the Off-World colonies, offering excitement and adventure. It appears there’s much excitement to be true, when five replicants (android-like creations constructed to work in off-world colonies) commit mutiny and escape to Earth to find a way to increase their four year lifespan, causing a Blade Runner named Deckard (Ford,Raiders of the Lost Ark), a cop whose job is to hunt down replicants, to come out of retirement.
Very loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, this is director Ridley Scott’s (Alien, White Squall) baby all the way. Despite being a box-office failure, an ever-growing amount of film-lovers consider this film to be a sci-fi masterpiece. You can count me as one of them.
Breathtaking visual effects highlight this gorgeous and thought-provoking futuristic film noir tale, with an amazing score by Vangelis. This is more than a simple detective story. It is a mutli-layered and profound film that speaks to such weighty issues as humanity, memories, dreams, and a vision of the future that changed the face of science fiction forever.
I’m reminded of the scene in 12 Monkeys, where it is remarked by Bruce Willis regarding Vertigo seeming different upon watching it now instead of when he was younger, not because the movie changes, but because he has changed, and notices different things upon viewing it. Blade Runner is one of those films for me.
My personal pick for the greatest science fiction film of all time.
Qwipster’s rating: A+
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, M. Emmet Walsh, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkell, Joanna Cassidy
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Hampton Fancher, David Peoples (based on the novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, by Philip K. Dick)