Blade Runner Film Review – Duggystone Radio Glenn Barr

Written by on November 27, 2019

Blade Runner

Dedicated to the Memory of Rutger Hauer,

Written by Glenn Barr

 

Harrison Ford was riding high on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) therefore audiences at the time were expecting a science fiction action adventure with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). Instead, we were treated to a thoughtful slow-moving story based on Philip K. Dick’s cyberpunk novel, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ adapted by screenwriter Hampton Fancher. The story focuses on Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a futuristic police officer (or blade runner) hired to ‘retire’ out of control androids (replicants) during November 2019. What follows is a visually stunning rain-soaked world that baffled some cinemagoers upon initial release. In fact, it is probably fair to describe Blade Runner as a Marmite movie!

 

Rutger Hauer (died in July 2019) plays Roy Batty, a powerful Nexus 6 replicant, intent on locating his creator/father figure, Dr. Eldon Tyrell. Batty and his crew have a limited four-year lifespan, as a means for the Tyrell Corporation to keep their product under control. Indeed, Batty’s quest is simple; he wants more life. Having caused chaos off-world and essentially killed for pleasure (or to understand the meaning of life) Batty and his crew return home to daddy like naughty school children seeking approval. A testament to Hauer’s beautiful yet disturbingly childlike performance, especially his improvised line, ‘all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.’

 

Furthermore, in terms of recreating humanity, Harrison Ford’s stunt double Vic Armstrong (Indiana Jones) resembled Ford to such an extent that a bathroom sequence pick-up shot was filmed with Armstrong in place of Ford. Needless to say, a close-up was not used, opting instead to use profiles and silhouettes to locate an important snakeskin scale that moved Deckard’s investigation forward. Indeed, during an early screening, Ford turned to Ridley Scott and said he couldn’t remember shooting that scene. Scott informed Ford that he didn’t film it! Impressive to discover that there is – rather appropriately – a literal copy of Ford permanently in the movie and nobody noticed.

Ridley Scott’s masterpiece raises questions about the origins of life, in that if a person can be built, will that eventually render humans obsolete? A replicant can only ever be a copy of a real person and not an exact reproduction or a twin. To simplify this line of thought, if we are able to produce a copy of a copy, will we question – or even acknowledge – what is human in the first place? To quote Dr. Tyrell, the replicants are considered to be ‘more human than human’ and Blade Runner helped shape science fiction as we know it. Furthermore, the glorious sequel, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) returned the favor with a scene that impressed eagle-eyed viewers; we are presented with archival footage of Deckard and the exact date: 20th November 2019. Rather mind-blowing that Blade Runner (1982) was screened in selected cinemas (on the exact date mentioned) as a fitting tribute to the original.

 

9/10 – A stunning work of art that has influenced movie production design for decades.

 

Thanks for another Great Review Glenn

 

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