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Blade Runner

Directed by Ridley Scott






Year Of Release
1982

Director/s
Ridley Scott

Writer/s
Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples, Philip K. Dick

Cast
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel



Having seen Blade Runner in its several different incarnations around forty times over the years, I may have been forgiven for getting a little tired of the film. However, after viewing The Final Cut of the film at the cinema last night, I found myself covered liberally in goosebumps and left in awe of the brilliance of what I was watching. The opening scene of a fast, fire-breathing industrial landscape combined with the haunting Vangelis score, had the same effect on me as it always has - amazement.

From the start I was seamlessly immersed in the intoxicating atmosphere of a rainswept, polluted, and over crowded dystopian Los Angeles. Very loosely adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep the film maintains the basis of the books story and the questions it asks the reader. The question of life to put it simply - what is it, can man create it, should he - questions we will no doubt one day have to answer. Whilst the plot of the film is quite simple, the film is full of ambiguous overtones, both philosophical and ethical. There is one fundamental question asked by this dark dystopian story, where men have practically become gods with their mastery of genetic engineering: what makes us human?

Rutger Hauer’s performance is outstanding. As a replicant seeking to live longer, he ironically seems to be the most alive of all the characters in the film. In contrast with Deckard, who seems to be in a constant state of apathy. The "Tears in the Rain" ending of the film always has an effect on me, but in the cinema it was an altogether different experience - the greatest experience I've had to date.

The combination of dystopian sci-fi and film noir blend perfectly to create a dark, melancholy atmosphere. The city itself has it has a life of its own - probably the most effective vision of a dystopian city ever brought to the screen. In my opinion, Blade Runner is the greatest and most influential sci-fi ever made. It set the benchmark for all proceeding non-space based sci-fi, and remains a timeless masterpiece.

In a world where technology has taken over, we have destroyed the environment and most animals are extinct and corporations have become gods, one can only wonder if Ridley Scott has made an accurate predication of the future.