Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott a jpoc movie review
Stylish SF Film Noir.
Main Cast
Harrison Ford Rick Deckard (an ex Blade Runner)
Edward James Olmos Gaff (a cop)
M. Emmet Walsh Bryant (Deckard's ex boss)
Rutger Hauer Roy Batty (Replicant)
Sean Young Rachael (Replicant)
Daryl Hannah Pris (Replicant)
Brion James Leon (Replicant)
Joanna Cassidy Zhora (Replicant)
Joe Turkel Eldon Tyrell (creator of the replicants)
William Sanderson J.F. Sebastian (genetic engineer)
Blade Runner books The original novel, sequels and books about the movie
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jpoc rating
Nine out of ten.
A landmark in S.F. movies.
You can also still get the original version
the jpoc review
Loosely based on the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K.Dick, Blade Runner is a landmark in SF film making. It is set in a near future in which great technological advances have merely brought their own problems rather than delivered some form of utopia. The particular problem of concern in this movie is that of replicants. These near perfect copies of humans are not allowed on Earth and when a small group lands illegally, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called out of retirement to dispose of them.

As the hunt continues, he finds himself becoming attached on Rachel (Young) one of the replicants whom he has been sent to destroy. Where will his loyalties lie?

This film works and appeals on many levels. Of course, superficially there is the thriller aspect of the movie. Will Deckard kill the bad guys? Will he get the girl? Will she be allowed to live? But there is also the dark display of the future world. Something such as this is far more convincing that the sort of slick clean and perfect future that seems to be the view of most prior works in this genre.

Then, comes the whole matter of identity. Can the replicants really love? Should their lives be valued as much as those of the humans and finally, the big question raised by the film, is Deckard a human or a replicant given false memories and sent out to kill his own kind?

This last matter caused a lot of controversy. In the original book, Dick feels that the matter is sufficiently important that he has Deckard submit to tests to prove that he is human. The movie is more ambiguous. Many years after making the film, director Ridley Scott claimed that Deckard was a replicant. Reports from the shooting of the film say that there was a dispute between the director and his star. Ford wanted the audience to be with Deckard and did not want conclusive evidence that the killer was a replicant. It is this very ambiguity and the questions that it raises that is at the heart of the film's enduring popularity.

The movie is available in two different versions. The original version has a Raymond Chandler style voice over narrative done by Ford. This was forced on the director by the film's financial backers who feared that audiences would not follow the plot. The subsequent "director's cut" version drops this and adds a single dream sequence scene which is designed to reinforce the impression that Deckard is a replicant.

In an ideal world, you could buy a DVD with both versions on it but sadly, you cannot do this. In that case, the director's cut version is truer to the intentions of the films creators and it is inevitable that anyone watching the earlier version will feel that they are missing something.