Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ridley Scott Week: Blade Runner


The Ridley Scott week chugs on through with what I believe to this date still are an amazing hybrid of Film Noir and Cyberpunk standings.  A utopia for some and desuetude for others, the colonization of the other worlds of our solar system and the problems back home.    So get a packet of Twizzlers, maybe some nachos and an oversized drink (Take that New York!) and settle in a nice easy chair.  This is Blade Runner.


I’ve seen spoilers in glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate…


In 1982 capturing the writing of critically acclaimed science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick’s story Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep, a notion that machine could never be as emotional as man, have a series of moral decisions that were taught nor could they develop ideas of their own came writers Hampton Fancher (Of Men and Women, Survival, Police Story and The Other Side of the Mountain) and David Webb Peoples (Ladyhawke, Unforgiven, Hero, Twelve Monkeys and Solider) adapted the novel of question and create a world of robotics, human angst and distrust of corporation.   While this being truly a product of the 1980’s trend this film will stand the test of time due to this solid writing not relying solely on the day’s lingo, attitude, strives and failures.   


Our story unfolds with a credits sequence explaining the dangers of a of androids called Replicants that have a tendency to feel like nothing more than slaves to their human masters.  Being 3 times as strong, fast and intelligent they rebelled and were deemed faulty for such.  Earth passes a law creating a separate police force to contain, detain and execute them.  They are the Blade Runners.   During a routine background on a sanitation worker named Leon (Brion James of 48 Hours, Nemesis, Time Runner, Tango and Cash, The Dark and The Player) from a detective Holden (Morgan Paull of Patton, Norma Rae and Fade to Black) and the interview ends with Holden being put in the hospital and cut to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Patriot Games, Regarding Henry and Cowboys and Aliens) having his sushi only to be interrupted by a detective Gaff (Edward James Olmos of Miami Vice, Stand and Deliever,Roosters, Mirage, 500 Nations and Battlestar Galatica) and leads him back to his former Lieutenant Bryant (Veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh of Blood Simple, Critters, The Flash, A Time to Kill, Albino Alligator and Retroactive) an old fashioned cop in the worst way telling Deckard he needs to come out of retirement because he is the best Blade Runner that ever was to take out 4 of the Nexus 6 Replicants, a few combat models and pleasure droid.   Reluctantly Deckard is back in harness and on the case.   Stopping at the Tyrell Corporation, the creators of Replicants he does a pre-cursory examination and fact finding check with the head honcho Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel of The Killing, Path to Glory, The Shining, The Commitment and Miami Vice) to get some insight to the mind of the Nexus 6 series.   A computer program reliable to detect human from replicant is administered to Dr. Tyrell’s assistant Rachel (Sean Young of Stripes, No Way Out, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Fatal Instinct and Mirage) to verify a positive before a negative as the doctor says.


The tinny and melodic number of this film captures the essence of the film.  The overall mood and life of it comes from the narrative of Ford’s character like a shamus of old telling the tale through his eyes and once again Scott develops the film with the mood lighting, smoke ridden sets and suffocating amounts of humanity representing overcrowding, the need for colonization to expand the human race elsewhere due to the Earth filling up with people.  Most animals are artificial and real ones are deemed a luxury item for only the well do to or wealthy.

During this time the replicants’ leader Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer of Nighthawks,  LadyHawke, The Hitcher, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Blind Fury, Past Midnight, Split Second, Salem’s Lot and Batman Begins) is attempting to gain access to Tyrell as well for a longer life span than the allotted four year lifespan.  He is the true survivor of this crew.  The epitome of Nietzsche with a smattering of Descartes, the others will follow him into the gates of Hell itself because this being made know a way through. Through numerous re-releases the 2007 director’s cut adds additional footage that was cut out due to it being too lengthy but I personally enjoy the theatrical release for its purity in it was the first version I saw.

   So if you are watching this film for the 50th time or the first time, just let it wash over you in whatever version you see.