Sci-Fi | In English | 117 minutes | 1982 & 1992
Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is set in a dystopian Los Angeles. Retired police officer, Rick Deckard, returns to his former supervisor, Bryant, for a vital assignment. Previously, Deckard’s job was to track down bioengineered beings, known as “replicants,” and retire (destroy) them. He is now told that four replicants remain on Earth illegally. Deckard and Bryant watch a video of Holden, a blade runner, administer the “Voigt-Kampff” test, which will identify the four replicants. They are Leon, Roy Batty, Zhora, and Pris. Bryant wants Deckard to destroy all four of them. During his pursuit, Deckard comes in contact with Rachael. She insists she’s a human. When the replicant Leon tries to kill Deckard, Rachael comes to his rescue and shoots Leon. After many other close calls, Deckard, thinking that Rachael was killed, returns to his apartment to find her asleep in his bed. They leave the apartment complex content that they are both alive and well. In the first version of the film in 1982, audiences expressed confusion with the complex storyline. Ten years later, Ridley Scott released a new version deleting the narration. He also made the film more human by adding a love interest between Deckard and Rachael.
Harrison Ford (Rick Deckard) / Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) / Sean Young (Rachael) / M. Emmet Walsh (Bryant) / Brion James (Leon Kowalski)
Why Screen This Film?
Every fan of sci-fi should see Blade Runner. Over the years it has become a cult classic. The Village Voice and Time Magazine included it in their lists of the “100 Best Films of the 20th Century.”
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus) 90% 90%
- Metacritic Score 89% 89%
Los Angeles Film Critics Association–Best Cinematography (Jordan Cronenweth)
British Academy Film Awards–Best Production Design (Lawrence G. Paull)
In 1993, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2007, it was named the second-most visually influential film of all time by the “Visual Effects Society.”
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The fact is, this movie is great in any version. It will knock your socks off. The overall effect is beautifully wrought.
The reconstructed BLADE RUNNER may be the best ‘new’ American movie released this year. The mood and melancholy have been heightened, and the film builds to its different, properly ironic climax. The androids are finally sympathetic; their pursuers odious. And all around them is a world startling in its contrasts: vital yet decaying, nightmarish yet bewitching, sophisticated but brutal.
Welcome to Ridley Scott’s nightmare. Resembling a Felliniesque journey into Dante’s inferno, with Mickey Spillane in tow, BLADE RUNNER is a cold, bold, bizarre and mesmerizing futuristic detective thriller. The film possesses a size that is awesome, sound and visual accompaniments that blast the senses and a pessimistic attitude that would do justice to the hellish worlds Josef von Sternberg investigated in his Germanic and Paramount projects in the early 1930s. Like von Sternberg, Ridley Scott packs the screen at every turn with images that penetrate. Overall, the concept is likewise chilling.
The secret of BLADE RUNNER is that Scott’s fantastically baroque, future-shock imagery, all dark decay and techno-clutter, effectively becomes the story. As the layers of mood and detail settle in, the very process by which we watch the film—scanning those shimmering, claustrophobic frames for signs of life—turns into a running metaphor for what this film is about: a world in which humanity has been snuffed by ‘progress.’ This is perhaps the only science-fiction film that can be called transcendental.
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