Blade Runner

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.
Reviewed by: adam
3 Comment(s)
* (asterisk) said...
But Blade Runner came after Close Encounters, my man.
Josh said...
I still have yet to read the novel, but it's on my list of things to read ASAP. However, I'm a die-hard fan of this flick and I'm so happy that they finally released a set where you can watch any version you want. The director's cut is how I've always watched it, but recently I watched the Theatrical Cut and it was a whole different beast. The voice-overs were interesting but completely unnecessary. The one they tacked on after Batty's speech completely reiterates everything he said and almost goes so far as to undo the very essence of the speech. It also has a happy ending where Deckard and Rachael drive off into some mountainous retreat, supposedly living happily ever after. Yeah, I can see why Ridley Scott always wanted a chance to touch it up. The best version has to be the Final Cut. It's basically the Director's Cut but touched up and fixes a few errors here and there. If you can, get your hands on a copy of the five disc Blu-Ray set. It's only like 35 bucks and it's amazing.
Shea said...
The book was crazy... completely different so much that other than concept it's hard to compare.

My cousin is a huge fan of the movie...HUGE. He said the subtle differences that have been added to latest version brought him to tears.