Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#35 Blade Runner: You have burned so very, very brightly

1982. dir. Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah.

Seen it before? No.

First, a blog policy: Director's Cut Is Not Considered. Particularly important here, because according to a lot of the internet feedback on this movie, the Director's Cut fixes some of the problems - for example, removing the unnecessary tacked-on voiceover.

So it's the future again; 2019 to be exact. That's four years after Back To The Future II for those keeping score. Future Los Angeles is dreary and overcrowded, with loads of ugly futuristic buildings and neon signs. Also it rains constantly, making it seem more like Future Seattle or something. A corporation has built some killer robots called Replicants for use in outer space. They're almost indistinguishable from humans, to the point where you have to give them a Voight-Kampff test to be sure - sort of like a Turing Test meets the MMPI meets an eye exam.

So predictably some of the robots go berserk and escape outer space and land in LA, and it's Harrison Ford's job to go stop them. He's a Blade Runner. Why is he called a Blade Runner? Excellent question. It's not like he uses a katana to stop the replicants or anything, he uses a pistol. The replicants are fairly disappointing. Seems like you only have to shoot them once or twice to bring them down... compare that to the T-800, or Robocop, where the bullets just bounce off of them. They don't really have much in the way of super abilities either. Harrison Ford, oddly, has sex with one of them, which I guess makes him a robosexual?

I just don't get the hype for this movie. Ridley Scott's future-noir vision of dystopic Los Angeles is pretty awesome, and has been a huge influence on later movies. (I immediately thought of Minority Report, Star Wars Episode II, and of all things, Idiocracy.) So yeah, stylistically, it's great. I also liked the score by Vangelis, who was the Mozart of pretentious 80's synthesizer music. I thought the premise was intriguing: robot replicants who can blend in with humans. There are a million ways the story could have gone, so I guess I was disappointed that they didn't really do anything interesting plot-wise. There's no real ambiguity as to who the replicants are, no intrigue, none of that. Just Harrison Ford hunting them down. Maybe we'll watch The Terminator this week...

Position on the list: 109
Oops! The following things still exist in Movie 2019: CRT monitors, Atari, Pan-Am, film cameras

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