Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Review: Blade Runner

So, I just watched the Final Cut of Blade Runner. I don’t suppose there is really any need to review it properly, it is, after all, a classic science fiction movie.

I could join the debate about whether it’s a great movie, or just an over-hyped one, but even that is a bit redundant, because any film fan or science fiction fan really should watch the thing and make their own mind up.

Personally, well, the visuals are great – the imagining and visualisation of the dystopian world, the flying cars (that by rights we should have by now) whose strings are no longer visible on the latest remix, the constant rain…. Not quite sure why rain is so inherently dystopian, but then I’m English.

The thing is, if I didn’t know there was this mystery subtext about Deckard, I don’t think I would have spotted it, the whole origami thing being a bit too small and obscure, at least first time round. That said, the ambiguous ending of the Final Cut is better than the fluffy Hollywood ending version; the tone of Blade Runner doesn’t lend itself to a happy ending.

I’m not sure if it’s ironic or intended, but the only character that really sticks in the mind after watching is Roy Batty, as played by Rutger Hauer. That’s not to say the Harrison Ford, or Sean Young are in any way bad, but Roy’s change from angry, violent replicant-on-a-mission, to abandoned son confronting his father, to the final acceptance of his own death, is the definite stand-out.

Ah yes, the violence. There’s a lot of it in this version, I don’t remember wincing quite so much when I’ve seen earlier cuts. But this is not a happy film; not one you can switch your brain off for a couple of hours and relax with. There is a lot in Blade Runner (some of which I may revisit later) but a lot of it requires thought, and none of it is especially happy.

Perfect for a Monday review then.

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