Blade Runner (1982)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos
Richard Deckard (Ford) is a blade runner responsible for tracking down and destroying four replicants who’ve returned to earth in a stolen spaceship. These four are searching for a way to extend their lives, which are quickly coming to an end. With the head of the Tyrell Corporation in their sights, these four are also looking over their shoulders for Deckard who is hot on their trail.
This film is a classic in the world of science-fiction movies although it blends a number of genres into the story. The novel behind this screenplay was written by prolific sci-fi writer, Philip K. Dick (The Adjustment Bureau). The screenplay adaptation was done by Hampton Fancher (The Mighty Quinn) and David Webb Peoples (Unforgiven). The talented Ridley Scott (Thelma and Louise) directed this film.
The cast for this movie features Harrison Ford, who was following up big years when he starred in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The cast also features Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins), Sean Young (Wall Street), Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill: Vol. 1), and Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver).
This is clearly a science-fiction story on the surface. The writers have created an entire world of the future for the blade runner and the replicants to live within. Beneath that, the film is part action, part film noir, and part drama. This blend creates a powerful set of themes for the story that revolve around perceptions of reality and the definition of life. With Philip K. Dick’s fantastic story as the starting point, Fancher and Peoples did a great job translating the story for the film. The action is intense and used in ways that keep this from feeling like an action movie. Instead, the action is simply there are one aspect of an epic science-fiction film. The dialogue is also great in this one, creating some really great moments. Overall, this is one of the better written sci-fi films out there.
The acting in this movie is wonderful as well. While the film was being cast, Harrison Ford was not initially considered. Thanks to praise from Steven Spielberg, who had just finished up Raiders of the Lost Ark with him, Ford was given a shot. In terms of his early career, this is one of the more dramatic roles he took on. The depth of his character is wonderfully portrayed. Rutger Hauer is the other star of this film. Not only does he do a great job as the leader of the replicants, but he also created great chemistry with Ford. The moments between the two of them are some of the best of the whole movie. Add in the nice work from Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, and Edward James Olmos, and the movie just comes together. Along with the rest of the cast, this one is filled with great performances.
The visuals in this film were surely ahead of their time. The special effects, camera work, and set design all created a whole new version of the future. Now, more than three decades since it was released, this movie still holds its own. The visuals are surprisingly good, and don’t seem to show much age. Even when the age of the film shows, the story is such a great one that your focus is easily held. The action sequences were shot wonderfully as well. In addition to all of this, the movie has some great costuming and makeup work. Backing up this praise, this film was nominated for two Oscars; Best Set Decoration and Best Visual Effects.
This is a really wonderful movie that is considered a classic science-fiction story by many. The story has roots with one of the great writers of science-fiction, and the visuals give it a unique voice. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who loves science-fiction. I would also suggest this to fans of the stars. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.