Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blade Runner (1982)

Tagline: A chilling, bold, mesmerizing, futuristic detective thriller.

(The original cut of the futuristic adventure.)

What you need to know: Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st-century Los Angeles [in the year 2019]. He’s a “blade runner” stalking genetically made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them. Their crime: wanting to be human.

I can’t relate to you how confusing this film was. We are brought into this dark, hazy, rainy vision of 2019 where cars fly and Chinatown has taken over the entire city of Los Angeles. (As a result, Deckard can’t get anything but Asian food to eat). It looks more like the post-apocalyptic world in The Terminator than anything else.

We get this story of four replicants who hijacked a space ship and have returned to earth seeking their creator. Well, Deckard hunts them down one by one, even though the job brings him out of retirement. It’s in the little details that the story starts to deviate and get a bit confusing. For example, it is unclear who the four replicants are, especially since they seem to be scattered in different locations in Los Angeles. The first female replicant to die is a stripper with a pension for fake snakes (and by fake, I mean, the snake looks real, only in 2019, real snakes are too expensive, so an Egyptian manufactures fake snakes). Odd? Yes.

There is this whole other issue with Deckard coercing another replicant to have sex? After Deckard tells Rachael she’s a replicant and that all her memories are implanted, she of course, has an emotional breakdown. This breakdown, I’m assuming, is what sparks Deckard’s interest in her. When she visits him in his apartment (for lack of a better word) he refuses to let her leave until she agrees to have sex. The very end of the film has us wondering if Rachael will live, since all replicants are illegal on earth.


The last two replicants to die are Pris (Darryl Hannah, whom you may recognize from Wall Street as Darien) and Roy (Rutger Hauer). Replicants are supposed to be nearly identical to humans, but with a lifespan of about four years, so I was a little taken aback when Darryl Hannah emerges with this burned-mop-looking wig for hair and raccoon-like makeup THEN attacks Harrison Ford like a cat out of hell!

Roy is another story. He somehow STRIPS out of his clothes and starts fighting against Deckard in nothing but his undies. It appears that he is close to dying (his four years are up) and he’s gone off the deep end, because he starts howling like a wolf and running around like a banshee as well. After Roy breaks TWO of Deckard’s fingers, Deckard SCALES A BUILDING! Roy dies (of old age) after saving Deckard’s life. There is this massive question of WHERE Roy acquired a white dove that flies out of his grasp when he dies… maybe it was in between taking off a sock and Harrison Ford hitting him with a metal pipe.

Lastly, there is this gnawing question of whether Deckard himself is a replicant. If you ever watch this movie, do let me know.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

A confusing film, I agree; hence all the various versions.

However, it was an important film visually. It inspired a number of filmmakers.