Monday, December 31, 2007

REVIEW: Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Year: 1982
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, James Hong
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

The film based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", grossed an estimated $28 million on a $26 million budget when it debut on theaters in 1982. Its been hyped by many studio executives, but failed to deliver as a box office hit. Its been criticized by many critics as being another SCI-FI thriller that didn't bring anything new to the table. 26 years later, the film has found a warm spot in almost everyone's heart and has been ranked as one of the greatest films ever made. Now the year is 2007 and were embraced with a version of the film which is now being marketed as "The Final Cut", meaning director Ridley Scott's final vision of the film.

Plot Outline:
In the year 2019, Los Angeles is threatened by a gang of dangerous replicants. A replicant is an android who clearly talks and resembles an ordinary human being. The androids are programmed with a maximum lifespan of four years to prevent them from becoming too smart. The leader of this gang, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), wants to force the humans to extend his lifespan. Blade runners are police officers who specialize in retiring replicants. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner and he is given the task of hunting down the gang of replicants and stopping them. One after another, Deckard confronts the human look alike replicants, but the closer he gets to finishing them, the more humanity he sees in the replicants.

The story is based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Its an engrossing experience that you really need to see for yourself. The story has this film noir type felling to it and is filled with an interesting plot that comes with these characters that you get to know and love. Its like a mystery that slowly unravels itself right in front of you. Director Ridley Scott does an amazing job capturing author Philip K. Dick's vision for this film. Scott's love and care for the project really shows with every little thing being relevant to the story. With all of this said, Blade Runner does have this great story that not everyone is going to enjoy. I know people who criticized the story for being too dark or complex and that's very understandable. This definitely isn't a film for everyone. I have personally always loved the story of Blade Runner and even though I left alittle confused on my first watch, I went back and saw this extraordinary story that isn't really hard to understand.

Harrison Ford plays the role of Rick Deckard as if he was that very same person in real life. He does an outstanding job as Deckard and really has that charm that the character really needed. I enjoyed him as Han Solo in Star Wars and I enjoyed him here as Deckard. Rutger Hauer plays as Roy Batty and he gives an unbelievable performance that is seen only 30 minutes into the film. He easily is the star of the show and makes for an evil opponent opposite Deckard. Sean Young plays the beautiful Rachael. I really enjoyed her presence here and thought she looked great next to Ford. We also have the lovely Daryl Hannah playing the sexy, but crazed Pris. She does a fine job here and I also enjoyed her presence here. James Hong plays as Hannibal Chew and I liked him in this role. He doesn't have much lines, but I still enjoyed his character.

The visual look of Blade Runner is a sight to behold. The special effects for the movie are great for its age. The future city of Los Angeles looks very dark and high tech. We have cars flying all round these wonderful buildings that have digital advertising on them. The film has been wonderfully remastered and restored using some of the advanced computer tools I have seen. The films source is much cleaned up with film grain being very limited. Colors are much more vibrant and lighter. You can now see everything the way it was meant to be. Detail is remarkably good with alot of things now being noticeable. Close up shots reveal good clarity and a good amount of sharpness. Warner Bros. definitely deserves some credit for an amazing video transfer

The music in Blade Runner is phenomenal. The films score is composed by Vangelis and he does an outstanding job. The score goes so well with the films atmosphere and is definitely nice to hear. It easily brings out the SCI-FI elements of this film. The soundtrack in Blade Runner also consists of other music too. We get a mixture of Arabic music and techno that surprisingly goes sounds great. For a film noir film like this, you wouldn't expect much bass. Surprisingly, Blade Runner features a bombastic bass that really delivers. Its not demo worthy, but its definitely great for a film of its age. Warner Bros. also did an excellent job in restoring the music elements of this film.

Blade Runner is considered a masterpiece by many and I cant say I disagree with them. This film is an amazing achievement by director Ridley Scott that people will remember him for. The story is engaging and intense. We get to love and hate these characters that author Philip K. Dick created. The performance of the cast is great and really worth mentioning. The visual image of this city is really remarkable and something people NEED to see. The music breaks barriers with its fascinating, but less used score. This certainly isn't a film for everyone since some people might think its story is dark and boring, As for those who don't mind film noir movies and is looking for some action adventure, Blade Runner is a must.

Grade: A-


Anonymous said...

Good review.

Maybe you should read the novel. I always liked the film, and thought that the novel would have to be even better. Instead the novel is very different, the story has almost nothing in common with the movie apart from the seek and destroy mission.

After reading the novel I realised why this movie is amazing. It transcends the novel in every aspect - better story, characters, themes, setting, you name it.

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movie forum said...

This is truly science fiction movie that ever made.The film is about ideas, not spaceship battles, futuristic gadgets, or weird creatures that is one of the reason I enjoyed this film very much.