Blade Runner (1982)
IMDB Rating 8.2/10 117 min - Rated 18 Sci-Fi | Thriller
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young Director: Ridley Scott
Rick Deckard (Ford) is a retired police officer, once responsible for finding and killing renegade `replicants' — man-made servants and soldiers almost indistinguishable from humans. A highly sophisticated and murderous gang lead by the enigmatic Roy Batty (Hauer) is on the loose, and Deckard is persuaded to take the case. The first and possibly best Philip K. Dick adaptation, Blade Runner is an arresting triumph of design, atmosphere and storytelling. Ridley Scott's self-assured approach lends a convincing air to the year 2019, making the city's neon-lit streets seem as real as those walked by Deckard's spiritual grandfather, Philip Marlowe. In fact, the influence of Raymond Chandler and his famous P.I. is evident throughout Dick's novel and particularly the film. Deckard is a similarly hard-bitten and morally ambiguous character, making a living amongst the sleaziest dregs of society. There is even a scene in which Deckard plays a gawky fool to gain the trust of an incidental character, his mannerisms and voice identical to an impression performed by Bogart's Marlowe in The Big Sleep. From character to narrative, to the shadowy visual style, Blade Runner is riddled with film noir references. Fortunately, powerful performances all round prevent the stylized aesthetic from swamping the story. Ford is great, but it's Rutger Hauer who is the real revelation here. A stalwart of sci-fi and horror B-movies, Batty is the most high-proffie and successful role to date for the Dutch actor, who makes him a threatening and electrifying presence. Available in two versions, the superior is the 1991 director's cut which removes a dreadful commentary – insisted upon by the distributor – begrudgingly and lazily recorded by Ford.