Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Noir
Actors: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Director: Ridley Scott
Blade Runner is a movie I have been wanting to see for quite some time now, but just really haven’t gotten around to watching it. After watching it I’m kind of mad at myself for putting it off for such a long time. I wasn’t completely sure what to expect before I watched this movie, and I’m still not completely sure how to exactly describe the movie even after watching it. This is not to say that it is a bad movie at all. In fact, I really liked it, but it was definitely a movie that made you think about the future and how the world might look in 20 years from now.
Now it’s time for my patent-pending “Davis Steen spoiler-free plot summary” presented by YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE. The film is set in the year 2019 in a very dark and bleak Los Angeles, California. The exposition they give at the beginning of the movie is actually very good for explaining the how the world is. it goes as such: “Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL CORPORATION advanced robot evolution into the NEXUS phase – a being virtually identical to a human – known as a Replicant. The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the genetic engineers who created them. Replicants were used Off-World as slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets. After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6 combat team in an Off-World colony, Replicants were declared illegal on earth – under penalty of death. Special police squads – BLADE RUNNER UNITS – had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicant.
This was not called execution.
It was called retirement.”
The story picks up with a possibly retired Blade Runner cop named Deckard (Harrison Ford) and he is called in to stop four new replicants who have just recently been identified on Earth. Deckard tries to find them in the very futuristic yet very dark city of Los Angeles and “retire” them before anything happens. The replicants on the other hand are trying to find the one that created them, Tyrell. They know that replicants can only live for four years before they die and are trying to find a way to live longer than that and they hope Tyrell can help them.
Now, I’m gonna disclose some information that might seem a little shocking, but I have never seen a Film Noir film before. This film isn’t only a Film Noir, but it definitely fits the description. Blade Runner is almost a mutt of a film, mutt meaning a mix of two different things, not any other connotations that go along with it. It is a mutt in the way that it combines the genres of Film Noir and Science Fiction and does a great job of it. The film is set in the future, and if that weren’t Sci-Fi enough, it also has robots, genetic engineers that can make both toys and humans that seem very real, and a very futuristic city that is only lit by neon light and spotlights that are constantly scanning the area. They also make it seem like the characters are constantly being watched by both the police and by a giant spaceship type thing that is constantly hovering over the city and playing commercials at the same time. The world that the makers of this film have created is almost scarily close to what an extreme of what our world is currently becoming. Advertisements are everywhere (Coca-Cola must have paid them a ton of money), the streets are crazily crowded, and it almost seems as if the minority in this world is a Caucasian male. Now, I don’t know if this is how Los Angeles is now, but it was probably a good estimate for what might happen to Los Angeles in the future. Blade Runner also keeps its Film Noir genre strong throughout all of these futuristic occurrences. They give you the feeling of being in a dark, leaky basement for almost the entirety of the film. Even during the daytime it is dark and smoggy (Once again this could be how Los Angeles is currently, I don’t know) and you never feel like light will ever come, rain just comes instead. Over all, Blade Runner does a great job of keeping the two genres working well together and making them both feel almost like they were meant to be (Almost like a very freaky romantic binding of two completely different genres).
The characters in this film are also very well written. Deckard is a lonely cop who has pretty much no one in his life and he almost seems like he has nothing to live for, but he still fights to make the world a better place. They also do a great job of making sure you know nothing of his past so, even though he is the good guy, you never completely and totally sympathize with him. Also, Harrison Ford does a great job of keeping the character dark and distant, while still allowing the character to change himself in order to get into the different situations that he is forced to get into while searching for the replicants. Then there are the replicants who really have no reason to be anywhere, but they are still searching for the answer to eternal life. The characters clash in a way that keeps the story going while creating a great conflict that adds to the story at the same time. The characters are searching for their objectives and that is what really keeps the story going.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the constant theme of death within the movie. I’m not saying that I like death or anything, but I like the way that the replicants are looking for eternal life and trying desperately to keep themselves away from death. This is almost true with people in this world to a point. Everyone is scared of death (I know you are don’t lie) because of the mystery that is involved with it, but we all come to a realization at some point that this world is very fleeting. the end speech given by Rutger Hauer’s character, Roy Battey, really sums up how short lived, yet beautiful, things in this world are and how we can’t keep them forever (I won’t give away the speech, because he says it better than I could write it). The line from the movie that really sums up this theme is spoken by Gaff, Deckard’s somewhat assistant cop. He says “It’s too bad she won’t live. but then again, who does?”
I strongly recommend this movie to a person who is OK with a slower moving thriller. It basically makes you wonder what is going to happen the entire time then it finally puts you on the edge of your seat towards the end of the film. it is a great mix of two genres, Sci-Fi and Film Noir, and, even though it is quite slow, it does a great job of reeling you in and keeping you guessing what is going to happen nearly the entire time. Also, if you enjoy either genre then this is definitely a film that I recommend you watch. I give this film eight Coca-Cola Advertisements out of ten.
(I’m trying out a few different ratings systems for films (4 star ratings are cliche) so let me know what you think of this one. I am trying to rate the movies out of 10, but I rate them out of things that are prominent in the film, for instance the movie Airplane! I used airplanes as the unit.)