The ’80s. There was no better time for Science Fiction films, with an abundance of them coming left and right through the decade, including fan favorite hits like Aliens, Total Recall and The Terminator. The genre was alive and well, but only one film did the unthinkable and made the genre, which at the time was made up of more action-oriented set pieces, into a philosophical mind-bender: Alien director Ridley Scott’s incredible Blade Runner. Setting the course for sci-fi films to come, Blade Runner was a metaphysical look into the world of what makes us human and what defines us as individuals, all the while exploring a dystopian Los Angeles.
Based on the book Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner tells the story of a grizzled ex-police officer and “blade runner” Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who resides in Los Angeles in the year of 2019. As a blade runner, Deckard is tasked with finding and destroying engineered replicants, who look and act just as human as a normal human would, as they are banned on earth and only useful for off planet mining. Rick Deckard decides to take one more job as he finds out that four replicants came to earth and escaped from the hands of their creators. This leads to Deckard falling into a world of replicants, as he starts a troubled affair/relationship with Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who acts more human than machine.
For the time, Blade Runner was revolutionary. While we did have science fiction films that explored mythology, psychology and the human mind, we never had a mainstream film of this caliber, with this big of a budget, and with a cast like this in a while. Director Ridley Scott, who here makes easily his best work and most inspired piece of art, crafts one of the best science fiction films of all time, right up there with 2001. Not only that, but action star and fan favorite Harrison Ford gives his best performance as a man who is unsure of who he is anymore with the idea that he could fall for a replicant, something he is tasked to destroy.
Tie it up with the aesthetically dirty landscape of a futuristic LA, and you have one of the most unique science fiction films of that era. You cannot call yourself a fan of the genre and not have seen Blade Runner, so if you love the genre and still haven’t seen Blade Runner, you are missing out on a masterpiece. Plus with the Brattle showing the Final Cut of it (the true definitive cut in my opinion) before Warner Bros. takes it out of circulation in anticipation for the sequel Blade Runner 2049, how could you afford to miss this?
dir. Ridley Scott
Screens Wednesday, 3/29 and Thursday, 3/30 @ Brattle Theatre
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