Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner is, like any good film, esoteric, weird as hell, and an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel; in this case Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. It's everything you would hope for in an epic sci-fi noir movie, even down to the inexplicably austere police chief's office.
Harrison Ford is Rick Deckard, a no-nonsense Blade Runner (android bounty hunter) and winner of Best Private Investigator Name three years running who has been tasked with hunting down 4 extremely dangerous replicant (this universe's name for androids) fugitives, led by the supremely talented Rutger Hauer as Nexus 6 Combat Model Roy Batty.
The replicants have returned to android-free Earth in order to try to extend their stunted 4 year life span. What ensues is a hunt through gritty future-Los Angeles streets where lots of people die, many, many extremely quotable lines are delivered, and the very serious tone of the movie is undercut surprisingly regularly with sudden and jarring moments of unexpected slapstick.
|Seriously, you would not expect this guy to still be sinister after some of the adorable faces he pulls.|
Really, I can't stress enough how silly this movie can be. I got the joyous opportunity to see it in the cinema for the first time very recently (thus this post, actually) and it reminded me how unusually out of place much of the comedy is in the context of the film's world. This is meant to be super grungy dystopia with lots of discarded newspaper and midgets and shit, and yet we end up with androids who run around naked and consider headbutting themselves through walls a viable means of taunting.
|"Heeere's Joh-noh-flehbleh..." *collapses*|
Smart move, Roy.
|All of them...|
The attention to detail is brilliant as well (I'd sincerely recommend having a peruse of the countless IMDb factoids about the set design once you've watched the movie), with the sets, costuming and even the made up language all melding together to create a believable future world full of noodles and pipes. That, plus some now iconic film techniques (cool ass eye glimmer, represent), makes for a completely bespoke experience, and is, along side the great characterisation, subtle exploration of human mortality, and amazing soundtrack, the reason why this movie is and always will be one of the best ever made.
It's Special Because...
This is one of my dad's favourite movies; I think it's between this and Apocalypse Now for his top. My brother hated it the first time he tried to watch it. I remember his words very vividly after he tried our old VHS copy of the first Director's Cut (yeah, there's like 8 versions now): "It's too dark too see anything and the sound is weird," or something to that effect. Naturally, I saw this as a challenge and sat through that awful, awful video on our big old CRT TV that would leave a big green splodge on one side of the screen and a purple one on the other. It was grainy, the sound had kind of warped a bit (when your soundtrack is 80% synth, that's not a good thing to have happen), and it was generally a poor way to see the film first time.
And yet, I still enjoyed it. Not long after, the 2007 Cut was on Film4; I watched it again and I fell in love. At long last my dad had someone who could finish off the sentence when he inexplicably started spouting William Blake, or groggily reply with "Painful to live in fear, isn't it?" when he decided to burst into your room in the morning, growling "Wake up! Time to die!"
He really likes quoting this movie...
He really likes quoting this movie...
Best Enjoyed With
No distractions, a quiet room, and a band of friends who love every second of it as much as you. Nothing beats that moment when you all silently mouth those immortal lines together in the dark. Blade Runner is most definitely a world best shared.