FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Blade Runner” stars Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark), Sean Young (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Stripes), Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins, Sin City), Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica [TV series], 2 Guns), M. Emmet Walsh (Blood Simple, Christmas with the Kranks), Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, A Walk to Remember), William Sanderson (Newhart [TV series], True Blood [TV series]), Joe Turkel (The Shining, Paths of Glory), Brion James (The Fifth Element, Tango & Cash), and James Hong (Kung Fu Panda, R.I.P.D.). It is directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) and the screenplay is written by Hampton Fancher (The Minus Men, The Mighty Quinn) and David Webb Peoples (Unforgiven, Twelve Monkeys ). Based on a book by Philip K. Dick, “Blade Runner” follows an ex-cop living in 2019 named Rick Deckard (Ford) who is called back to work when four replicants, robots genetically made to look and feel like humans, arrive to earth. Being illegal on our planet, it is Deckard’s job to track them down and “retire” them before they cause massive destruction.
I had high expectations for this film, and I mean high. It’s considered a classic and is based on a book written by Philip K. Dick, one of the best sci-fi writers of all time. To receive this on blu-ray brought thrill to my eyes. When I opened the box, I noticed that there are four cuts: theatrical, international, director’s, and final. I didn’t know which one was more preferred so I chose the theatrical, mainly because I’m reviewing the movie and I should break down the first release. I put it in my Blu-ray player, sat down, and watched. It pains me to say this, and I am being honest, but I was disappointed. Very disappointed. My main reason for my disappointment would be how unsettling this story is. Several scenes were awkward, some being cringeworthy. I haven’t felt this way since I saw “Foxcatcher.” I know what you guys who love this movie are thinking: “why would you be discouraged by this film!? It’s a classic and one of the best sci-fi movies of all time!” There were times I enjoyed this picture, in fact, the movie as a whole presented a fascinating concept. I love sci-fi, it’s my favorite genre. The idea this movie presents has been used in other films, but most of them probably took from this one. The style of this film was something I could enjoy. It’s like a futuristic noir. The streets of Los Angeles are over-crowded, it’s gross, and always raining. There’s also a narration (in the theatrical cut) of the plot as told by Harrison Ford. It has a nice feel, as I do appreciate films like this. I will say that the narration was rather off-putting though. Some instances were really good while others felt like Steve Martin’s style of narration from “Father of the Bride” (both films will do). As I was watching this, I had to look up the synopsis a couple of times. I don’t know why, but for me it was hard to follow at times, probably because I couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing. Ridley Scott plunges you into this world, only giving you a title card to explain the situation happening. It does become self-explanatory later. A lot of elements in this were solid. The acting was pretty good and you can’t deny Harrison Ford. The man is just too good. The setting, like I said, was original. Ridley Scott is a visionary, and being set in 2019 makes it even more fascinating to watch since we aren’t exactly at that point yet (they got the big TV screens on buildings right). My main issue though is how crude this story is carried out. So many scenes seem muddled and at times I raised my eyebrow in disbelief. The whole thing with Deckard and Rachael felt forced and everything about the other replicants was too odd. I got what their problem was, but there were too many things that made me feel uneasy. One example would be Roy hunting down Deckard while going loony. I don’t know why he was rhyming or why he took off almost all his clothes. The special effects didn’t help the situation either. Some were okay, like the cars beginning to fly up in the air, but there were also ones that were outdated. I can’t make it too big of a con though because this was made in 1982. I found there to also be some goofs in this, like some shots having rain and others not, but it wasn’t to the point that the cinematography was completely flawed. I was so afraid that this would get Burnt or at least close to it (because I saw good potential in this and I still do), but the ending really soothed my frustrations. Man, the ending was great. The little speech Roy made to Deckard followed by his narration was so poetic and the iconic unicorn origami scene was the icing on the cake. The ending was the best part, but I’m still upset that it took the whole movie for it to become this grand. In the end, this film could be improved extensively. I’ll most likely watch the final cut to see if it has improved because I do find this story to be promising. There are some really good points to this, but also some really bad ones. If you want my advice, I’d say walk into this one with no expectations. You may be disappointed still or you may find it great, either way I feel that this movie could be deserving of both sides. I just don’t think, for its original theatrical release, that it was as well executed as it could’ve been. FINAL SCORE: 78%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: