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Retro Movie Review: Blade Runner

Retro Movie Review: Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a cult sci-fi classic released in 1982 directed by the acclaimed Ridley Scott. The movie follows protagonist Rick Decker (Harrison Ford) as he peruses six replicants which are described as bio-robotic androids. These replicants look identical to adult humans and are used as slaves or for menial duties but have superior strength, speed and agility among other traits. They also can only be detected by a fictitious test known as a Voight Kampff. Although the movie states that there are six replicants, Deckard must pursue. However, the movie only deals with five causing many to speculate that Deckard himself is the sixth replicant.

This move was heralded as one of the greatest of its time in terms of special effects and continues to be regarded as a cult classic in the sci-fi community. In fact, when director Ridley Scott released the ‘final cut’ of Blade Runner, he opted to keep the old analogue special effects in place of the new and updated CGI effects that were being used on films of the time. And by doing this staying one hundred percent true to the original film and its hordes of loyal fans.

This film is often seen as a commentary on humanity. Which allows us to feel sympathy for beings we are initially lead to believe are bad, particularly one played by Sean Young. Because replicants are not aware they are as such to allow them some anonymity in their lives, one of them become embroiled in a love affair with Deckard. This allows her to be seen as a sympathetic character rather than a villain.

Of all the words spoken about this film, one is true above all else ‘multilayered’. This film is not only complex and interesting, it improves with each viewing. Each time encouraging the viewer to take in more and more of the story and see the world from the point of view of various characters.

This film is a loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’ And has been released in seven different iterations throughout the years. Arguably, the best of these is 2007’s final cut. This version of the film came about after Warner Brothers found a work print version of the film and played it in cinemas calling it a ‘Directors Cut’. Scott denied this was the case and disavowed this version and set about creating a version of the film that was closest to his original vision of the story.

Now in 2017, ten years after the final cut we are seeing a sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic. With Harrison Ford returning as Richard Decker, audiences can only hope it is every bit as exhilarating as the original film was and makes us think just as much also. I for one cannot wait to see this new film and see the future of the Blade Runner franchise.

I will sign this article off with the immortal words of Richard Decker. “Memories! You’re talking about Memories.”

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