Thursday, 17 November 2011

Film Review: BLADE RUNNER [Director’s Cut] (1982)

Blade Runner - poster Director: Ridley Scott
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama/Thriller
UK Release date: 9th September 1982
NOTE: This DVD version hails from 1991

Watched on DVD Thursday 17th November 2011.


I have spoken to many fans of Science Fiction over the years and the vast majority of them always have something good to say about this film. Now I know there are those among you, mostly deranged people, who might hold a different view, but I am on the side of those who rate this film. I’ll even go so far as to say its right up there with the very best sci-fi films (if you ignore the original theatrical cut, which was truly awful). More of my praise after this brief summary.

Blade Runner - 2 There is an opening scrolling text on this version of the film that explains the set-up better than I ever could, here it is:

“Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL
CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution
into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually
identical to a human - known as a Replicant.

The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior
in strength and agility, and at least equal
in intelligence, to the genetic engineers
who created them.

Replicants were used Off-World as
slave labour, in the hazardous exploration and
colonization of other planets.

After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6
combat team in an Off-World colony,
Replicants were declared illegal
on earth - under penalty of death.

Special police squads - BLADE RUNNER
UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon
detection, any trespassing Replicant.

This was not called execution.

It was called retirement.”

Blade Runner - 7 Now you’ve read that I shall continue… Four Replicants have jumped ship, killed the crew and the passengers and made it to Earth. They are; Roy Batty, Pris, Leon Kowalski and Zhora. A retired Blade Runner, Rick Deckard, is brought in to hunt down and ‘retire’ these Replicants. He is first sent to the Tyrell Corporation where he meets Rachael, a Nexus 6 Replicant. At the time she is unaware of the fact, but Dr. Eldon Tyrell assures Deckard that she’s ‘special’. Leon had murdered another Blade Runner, Holden, and Deckard goes to Leon’s apartment where he finds a clue. Little does he know, the Replicants are also trying to find someone… Someone high up. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be calling me in for a Voight-Kampff test (again).

Blade Runner - 6 Visually stunning with a beautiful and atmospheric score by Vangelis, this film has a lot going for it (IMO). Great performances all round; Harrison Ford plays the world-weary Deckard to a tee, Rutger Hauer is excellent as the brutal but fragile Roy Batty and Sean Young plays Rachael with just the right amount of fear. Also worthy of note are; Edward James Olmos as Gaff, M. Emmet Walsh as Bryant, Daryl Hannah as Pris, William Sanderson as J.F. Sebastian, Brion James as Leon, Joe Turkel as Dr. Eldon Tyrell and Joanna Cassidy as Zhora.

Blade Runner - 4 I have seen this film many times before but this is the first time I realised just how introspective it is. All the action is focused on Deckard and the Replicants without the audience really seeing much outside this group. Yes there are hints; the advertising for the off-world colonies, but apart from that it’s very insular. Moving on, I thought the effects were truly stunning, given that there was no CGI back then and the design, the look and the feel of the whole thing is superb. A world is created that the audience could easily imagine Los Angeles 2019 to be like… Ok, maybe not the flying cop cars, but you know what I mean. Yes, it does tend to drag on a bit towards the end, but I can forgive that for a truly excellent film that, for its day, has never been equalled… VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

My Score: 9.5/10

IMDb Score: 8.3/10 (based on 223,454 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92/100 (based on 101 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Blade Runner - 5 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Bryant: I need ya, Decks. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old blade runner, I need your magic.

Rachael: May I ask you a personal question?
Deckard: Sure.
Rachael: Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Deckard: No.

Deckard: She's a replicant, isn't she?
Tyrell: I'm impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
Deckard: I don't get it, Tyrell.
Tyrell: How many questions?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn't it?
Deckard: [realizing Rachael believes she's human] She doesn't know.
Tyrell: She's beginning to suspect, I think.
Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?

…and my personal favourite:

Roy: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Blade Runner - 1 LINKS:
Official Site:


Daniel Mumby said...

Good review Mr. Steel. For me 9.5 is still not enough, but that's only because I LOVE this film so dearly. You have done it justice and the photos are great. Keep it up

Myerla said...

A masterpeice of cinema. Superb review.

The Film Connoisseur said...

One of my all time favorite sci-fi's probably my second favorite after 2001: A Space Odyssey.

There is a Korean film called Natural City which plays out kind of like an unofficial sequel to Blade Runner. It is also about androids about to die, and about them looking for a way to prolong their lives a bit more. It can bet a tinsy bit slow at times, but over all its a great film that any fan of Blade Runner will most likely enjoy.

I will be reviewing Natural City tomorrow (today I'll be reviewing Almodovar's The Skin I Live In) If you are interested, stop on by and check the review out tomorrow.

Rodders said...

Amazing film, I recall seeing the final cut on tv last christmas, absolutely loved it, brilliant review