Blade Runner – Movie Review/Comments

So, when I saw Blade Runner, I wasn´t surprised to find that I liked it.  I´m a pretty big Sci-Fi/Fantasy buff, so it only made sense that I should get around to watching the movie at some time (I will also have to read Do Androids Dream of Sheep? since “Blade Runner” is based off of the novel).  This said, it was easy to see what subsequent titles have been influenced by “Blade Runner” – among them, “Dark City” and “The Matrix” come to mind, although I´m sure that its reach has been much more influential than I´m giving it credit for.  In his 2005 review of the movie, Roger Ebert includes “Gattaca,” “12 Monkeys” and “Total Recall” as other films that followed and were largely influenced by “Blade Runner” (you can see his complete review at http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-blade-runner-the-final-cut-1982).  In general, “Blade Runner” has an average rating of about 8.5 (you can visit the IMDb page as well as other online sources for this information).  Personally, I give this movie 10 stars, and here´s why.

The acting is superb.  Harrison, a veteran at this point of the Sci-Fi genre – taking  into consideration his appearances as Hans Solo in the Star Wars trilogy and his success in the first of the Indiana Jones franchise – was a great catch.  He plays the main character, Rick Deckard, a “blade runner” who is commissioned by the police force to wipe out some insurgent replicants who have escaped their slave colony and found their way to Earth.  His character portrayal keeps the viewer wondering where his allegiance lies.  Aside from this, there is the question about whether Deckard is a replicant – Ridley Scott seems to put this question to rest, as he states that Deckard is in fact a replicant.  This is emphasized by the dynamic between Deckard and Gaff, as per Scott, the origami unicorn at the end of the movie points to a moment not only when Deckard is questioning his own humanity, but also to the possibility that Gaff knows that Deckard is, in fact, a replicant. (I got this info from his interview here:  http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/15-10/ff_bladerunner_full?currentPage=all )

I also wouldn´t be able to get through this review without also giving two thumbs up to Rutger Hauer for his performance in the movie.  He plays Roy Batty, perhaps the most complex of the replicants in terms of personality.  He also steals the show with perhaps the most poignant moment of the film, his “Tears in the Rain” monologue, before a dove flies from his arms to freedom.  Taking into consideration the symbol of the dove as the spirit, perhaps this is pointing the viewer to the conclusion that Roy Batty, although a clone, is just as human as any natural born man.  In death, his spirit finds the freedom that he could not attain in life.

Some other notable images:

The geisha advertisement – this seemed to me, in a way, to be a form of commentary in juxtaposition to Pris and Zhora who both, at one moment, paint their face or hide behind a disguise.  For Zhora, her disguise is used to blend in as she is an exotic dancer.  The way she disguises herself makes her seem very warm and humanlike.  Pris, on the other hand, seems to stand out more and become more mechanical when she paints her face white.  It´s notable that this disguise works when Deckard reaches J.F. Sebastian´s apartment – he doesn´t realize that she´s human and that is how she is able to attack him.

The Coca-Cola advertisement – ok, so maybe this is more connected with the fact that Coca-Cola was struggling due to some changes in their recipe in the 80s.  But, what do you link Coca-Cola with?  In a way, to me at least, it seems to be a symbol of youth.

Gaff and the origami – Gaff is a human creator of replicants but on a much smaller scale than Tyrell.  The origami creatures that Gaff makes, much like the replicants, are approaching the beings that they represent, but aren´t 100% true to the original.  They are made of different material and serve a different purpose – considering the unicorn at the end of the movie, it´s a way of passive-aggression, showing Gaff´s need for control.  His creations cannot possibly have a mind of their own or evolve as Tyrell´s replicants have.

All in all, I have to say, this was one of my favorite all time movies and I look forward to watching it again soon.

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