Friday, October 12, 2007
Blade Runner (1982)
"Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother."
As best as I can tell, Blade Runner is about a cop named Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is employed to hunt down robots which have evolved to the point of feeling human emotion rather than simulating it, and therefore can become dangerous and irrational. The robots, known as Replicants, look, act, and talk exactly real humans, and after a riot, it became known that the robots had developed the ability to think. Deckard, as a Blade Runner, must hunt down all the remaining Replicants and destroy them so they cannot mimic dangerous human emotions.
The movie follows Deckard as he chases 5 off-world mining Replicants through the gritty, decadent world of Las Angeles. The world is portrayed as dark - smog fills the skies 24 hours a day. Children beat people in the streets, sin is the city's biggest business, and animals no longer exist - they are crafted. The wealthy have all left for nicer planets.
This movie contains a lot of symbolism, and borrows heavily from Isaac Asimov’s Robotics books, along with the movie's source material "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" I personally found it incredibly slow and faintly rehashed. I was constantly reminded of films that used the same inspiration and used it to grander means, such as Ghost In The Shell (1995) and Avalon (2001)
The acting is poignant and powerful, although Harrison Ford seems almost over-the-top at times. (It's welcome though, because its an action movie and I was falling asleep). I liked the twist at the end where the director leads you to think if whether or not Decker himself is a Replicant. If more movies ended like this, maybe cinema could be an art form again and not merely a media outlet. An excellent speculation on what it means to be human.