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Blade Runner Movie Review (Ridley Scott Special)

Blade Runner is Ridley Scott’s second sci-fi film and is based on Philip K. Dick’s novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" The movie is a thrilling sci-fi film noir, reaching ethical depths like no other movie to date.

Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel & Edward James Olmos.

Run Time: 118 min.

US Release: 25 June 1982

UK Release: 09 September 1982

German Release: 14 October 1982

Let me apologise first of all for the lateness of this review. I had it finished and planned to upload it yesterday (Sunday 28th of September), but I had other business to attend to and therefore was unable to post it. But here it is now, so read and enjoy. This is my second review for my Ridley Scott science-fiction series that will culminate in The Martian on October 8th. I analysed Blade Runner - The Final Cut, as it is my favourite version of Blade Runner as well as the one Scott intended to screen. This sci-fi police drama stars Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, in a surprising plot with incredible depth.

As with Alien, Scott’s Blade Runner originally received mixed reviews and polarised critics. Some were praising it for it’s use of imagination and believed it would stand the test of time, while others criticised it for trading a story in favour of visuals. I confess that Blade Runner is no movie for a spontaneous film night, as it can be hard to watch; still I have always admired it no matter what version. The Final Cut version though is my absolute favourite, as it not only enhanced the visuals, but also the story.


Based loosely on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the story revolves around retired police officer Rick Decker (Ford). He is forced to come out of retirement by his former boss Bryant (Michael Emmet Walsh). As a former “Blade Runner”, a police unit hunting human-looking androids known as replicants, Decker is tasked to find six Nexus-6 models who came back to Earth to extend their lives.

Decker Travels to the Tyrell Corporation where he begins his investigation. He starts by setting up the equipment for the “Voight Kampff” test, designed to distinguish humans from replicants based on their emotional responses. While applying the test on Dr. Tyrell’s (Joe Turkel) assistant Rachael (Young), he figures out that she is a replicant prototype who doesn’t even know she is an android.

While mean, the fugitive replicants hunt down Tyrell Corporation employees as a mean to get in touch with their maker. Decker manages to find one after one but is also tasked to execute Rachael, who figured out she is a replicant and quit her job. Unable to kill her, Decker starts a romantic relationship with her and plans to leave Los Angeles with his newfound love.

I loved the story of Blade Runner, as it explored in depth what humanity is and if it is possible for other beings to be more humane than mankind. The movie states that a replicant starts developing emotions when reaching the age of four years, which would also lead to independent thinking. A failsafe switch is therefore implanted in the synthetics genetic code, to limit its lifespan to four years.

This leads to the second question the film raises. Are we allowed to enslave and command over the life of synthetic life, which is more human than people themselves? A being that is stronger, has a greater value of morals and literacy better than humans themselves.

Something I also valued about this neo-noir blockbuster is that it keeps us guessing who is human and who is a replicant. We learn early in the movie that the Tyrell Corporation started implanting their synthetics with fake memories to keep them psychologically more stable. There are several characters in the movie that show both signs of being human and replicants, just like Rachael. It is even rumoured that Dr. Tyrell himself might be one.

Character-wise is where the film drops the ball, as it introduces us to a lot of characters but only explores three of them. These three are Decker, his movie nemesis and replicant leader Roy Batty (Hauer) and Rachael. The movie focuses on the psyche of all three personas, giving the film elements of a psycho-thriller, but I did wish to learn more about Dr. Tyrell himself or the mysterious character of Gaff (Olmos).

The performance of all actors has been great. Olmos was brilliant as the partially mute character of Gaff, and Harrison Ford was great as replicant hunter Rick Decker. But my favourite character needs to be Rutger Hauer, who plays nemesis android Roy Batty and played him so convincingly he truly sends shivers down my back.

The most remarkable part of this neo-noir sci-fi movie are the visuals. The large panoramic shots of 2019 L.A. are more than spectacular; the streets are crowded and filled with neon signs. The dark smog-filled skies; the constant rain and the giant buildings rising into the heavens are all trademarks of this beautiful-looking science-fiction classic.

While up-scaling the visuals to HD quality a few background scenes were enhanced, to improve the visual aspects. I was more than impressed that Scott did not follow the path of other directors, avoiding replacing the analogue special effects with too much computer-generated imagery. The fact that he kept the older effects, by just up-scaled them, made them look even more real.

The music is another fantastic aspect of this indie-flick, playing a futuristic electric soundtrack of classic compositions throughout this sci-fi’s length. It mirrors the vision of this neo-noir futuristic story and was composed by Vangelis.


Verdict: Blade Runner - The Final Cut is my favourite version of this movie and one of the most-liked films. It has amazing visuals and an incredibly deep story about humanity. Slow but effective I give this film a 9.0 out of 10, and recommend buying it on Blu-ray for anyone who hasn’t seen it or doesn’t have it in their collection.

Do you remember your first view of Blade Runner and did you enjoy it? What version of Blade Runner is your favourite if any version at all? If you want to read my previous review of Ridley Scott’s Alien, scroll down to the related posts section.

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