I must ask you, do androids dream of electric sheep?
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.
I just finished Ridley Scott's 1982 Sci-Fi classic, Blade Runner: The Director's Cut
, starring Harrison Ford as bounty hunter Rick Deckard. The film is based off Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
and is a stylistic future-noir
film that's imagery would force even my most disquieting of nightmares to concede.
The plot goes like this: Man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used as slave labor in the colonies outside Earth. Most of Earth has been destroyed by what the novel calls World War Terminus
- forcing the remaining humans to live in very small, crowded metropolis-like colonies. These androids (replicants) are stronger than the average human and are nearly equal in intelligence. The newer models are learning advanced emotional functioning: love, hate, anger, fear, envy - and within four years of their development they could very well fully duplicate a human being's actions.
To combat this threat, engineers have installed within the replicants a fixed lifespan of four years, making them essentially slaves and play things. In Los Angeles, 2019, Rick Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specializes in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when five replicants escape from an offworld colony to Earth.Blade Runner
is really quite indefiniable. It takes the cold, stark visuals
of Ridley's 1979 Alien
and combines it with a futuristic, yet 1930s noir vibe. I'm quite interested to read not only Dick's novel, but also see the original theatrical version of the film, as it contains a wholly different feel.
It is certainly a Sci-Fi classic, but for me it falls short of films that I myself put at the top of the genre (Aliens, Robocop, Terminator 2, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
). Those films were definitely influenced, however, by Blade Runner
- so I must give credit where it is due.