Philip K. Dick’s dystopian Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? takes place in a neo-noir LA. Blade runner Rick Deckard wanders the urban slums lit by neon propoganda hunting down replicants that have assumed human likeness. Meanwhile the rest of humanity looks for haven in off-world colonies.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
The moments with Rachel and - especially - Batty are the one's that truly spoke to me. The humanity in the Replicants (the fear of impending death, the knowledge that they are slaves without any value other than as workers and source of wealth) was truly touching. Hauer stole the show and, if I'm honest, I could've gone without Deckard altogether. Great soundtrack to boot!
It took me awhile to get into this Replicants witch-hunt, but the obscure neon-flashed cinematography and the atmospheric synthesizer of Vangelis soundtrack help me through it. If our 2019 comes to resemble these 80s, we'll be fine with or without Blade Runners.
The first time Blade Runner eked its way to a 5 for me is also the first time I saw it on the big screen. No one questions its visionary imagery, but some modern viewers are left cold, like Scott smothered a good story by overwhelming the plot's vital moments with art direction and sound design. But see it in a theater, and you'll be overwhelmed too. Controversial realization: Deckard as a replicant makes no sense.
This film transcends a flawed, sprawling narrative - the mise-en-scène is a masterclass, the post-noir dystopian context a delight, and Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah play their parts with haunting believability.
The 4 stars is for the version I saw. WITH the narration. Not the director's cut. Or the final final director's cut. Rutger Hauer out acted everyone including Harrison Ford. The idea that Deckard is a replicant is missing the point of Batty's speech. I don't care what the director thinks.
Even 2001 doesn't quite reach this level of monstrous detail. In everyway this feels like the film that Scott was born to make and the one he's been living in the shadow of ever since. Everything is dying in this vision, nature is by all means extinct, man has been replaced by his creation and the corporations have become Gods of this brave new world. A marvellous blend of past and future that hasn't met it's match.
The set design is fantastic, particularly the way buildings seem to emerge from all angles and the city's edges fade into an abyss. When visiting the film recently, I found the narrative plodding and uninteresting. Blade Runner is a film worth watching, but when it comes to dystopic, neo-noir science fiction, I prefer Ridley Scott's other classic Alien.