What do you say about a movie you can't fully understand, even after seeing it more times than you've actually spoken to your own parents?What can one possibly add about film that has been so meticulously deconstructed, so tediously documented, so thoroughly analyzed that the mere thought of trying to create even a scintilla of new insight is both futile and ridiculous.
Nothing. But when it comes to Blade Runner, I'll try anyway.
In my mind, the greatest sci-fi film of all time succeeds on many levels, not the least of which is subtlety. A complex plot lovingly portrayed through thoughtful (if sparse) dialogue and a heaping helping of subtlety, is framed by special effects that still, more than a decade later, remain special.
Like any work of entertainment (or dare I say it? art), Blade Runner can be appreciated on many levels - from surface level action epic (Harrison Ford hunting down synthetics and then killing them), to probing metaphysical thriller (Who is human and who is not? Oh yeah? Prove it.) to paranoid vision of a future not too far from our grasp.
Harrison Ford wisely underplays his role as Deckard, especially considering his then-burgeoning success as a sci-fi favorite. Hell, for a protagonist, Deckard spends a good portion of the movie getting his ass kicked by a gloriously menacing Rutger Hauer. And speaking of Hauer, his performance as Roy Batty is one of the best villain portrayals of that decade; for all his evil deeds, there are reasons, and they are compelling. In the end, he just "wants more life," creating a villain that we can both despise and empathize with.
Ridley Scott's cinematic vision created new standards in quality and imagination as well as a score of imitators. If you haven't done so, check out the director's cut, which wisely eliminates Deckard's annoying voice over and includes the controversial "unicorn" scene.Above all, this film asks: What does it mean to be human?. The answers are yours to offer.