Blade Runner

Blade Runner ★★★★½

In honor of the recent anniversary of Blade Runner and The Thing coming out on the same weekend and making five dollars because everybody was obsessed with E T, I decided to give this a rewatch. Ridley Scott does a great job blending elements of noir and science fiction: he plays with light and shadow throughout, and M. Emmet Walsh backs Deckard into the “one last job” corner early in the film. Although characterization isn’t necessarily the primary focus of the film, there’s  enough character and world building to make me feel emotionally invested in the replicants’s fates. The voice-over is a controversial issue, but while Harrison Ford sounds both colossally bored and heavily sedated, it is a familiar noir trope that isn’t used that much. While I love this movie, I don’t feel compelled to compare the non-narration cut, the director’s cut, the ultimate cut, and the Deckard ends up being a Gremlin instead of a replicant or a human cut.

The REAL star for me, though, is the set design. It’s all great, but that wide shot of Darryl Hannah trying to pose as one of the countless dolls is just spectacular. I’ve been thinking about the love and care that goes into set design lately, and this is such a great example. It’s aesthetically stunning, while continuing to build on the larger themes of the film.

The acting is stellar across the board,  with each replicant getting one or two scenes to really shine: Sean Young when she is confronted with the pictures, Darryl Hannah when she meets benevolent but kinda creepy doll guy, and of course Rutger Hauer in the rooftop scene. I’m also reminded of the (oversimplified) claim that acting is 90% casting. The replicants have faces almost perfectly suited to both their personalities and surroundings. 

I’m not a huge science fiction fan, but Blade Runner totally holds up. You’ll have to excuse me, though. I have to go flip a tortoise!

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