Man Has Made His Match... Now Its His Problem
Running Time: 117 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Two things sci-fi movies have taught me about the future: 1) Were not as good at inventing stuff as Hollywood thinks we are (were now well past the year 2000, and Im still waiting for flying cars, teleporter machines, and hover-boards) and 2) If we MUST build a race of artificial people, PLEASE lets not be daft enough to make them stronger and more intelligent than ourselves (why not build them with the muscle and intellect of, say, Bruno Brookes, and leave it at that?).
Blade Runner, like The Terminator and more recently I, Robot, gives us a glimpse of a future where Lesson Number 2 has definitely not been learned. Its Los Angeles, 2019, and mega-corporations have genetically engineered a new breed of super human to do their leg-work for them. The trouble is, these Replicants arent just handy with a Black & Decker Workmate they also happen to be pretty bloody dangerous, which is why theyve become outlawed on planet Earth.
Step forward the Blade Runners, an elite police squad charged with hunting down these pesky Replicants and putting them into retirement (which might mean giving them bus-passes and sending them to live in nursing homes, but I somehow doubt it). One such Blade Runner is Deckard (Harrison Ford), and hes on the trail of a particularly nasty Replicant gang, among them Pris (Daryl Hannah, sporting what looks like the early stages of a beehive) and Roy (Rutger Hauer, trouser-wettingly scary as always).
What ensues is a dark, creepy and often thrilling chase, as Deckard attempts to track down and defeat Roys rabble before they end up going into business as dodgy cowboy builders and causing no end of misery for right-minded folks everywhere. Do it for the people, Decks!
Lauded by film buffs the world over and recently named the greatest sci-fi flick ever by science boffins, its not difficult to see why Blade Runner is so popular. Sure, the plots a little thin and Vangelis dramatic score can be a bit on the obtrusive side at times, but for mood, atmosphere and sheer visual splendour this matches anything director Ridley Scott went on to make in future years. In fact, its special effects are so impressive that even now, more than two decades on, it still looks fresh. If this movie had been kept secretly tucked away on the back of a shelf for all that time, and released into cinemas tomorrow, nobody would be the any the wiser as to how old it is – providing Ford, Hannah and Hauer were also kept hidden away on that shelf, that is.
It's Got: To explain why Rutger Hauer ends up in his pants. I never did understand that bit.
It Needs: To have kept the title of the original Philip K. Dick novel (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has a much better ring to it!).
DVD Extras This Directors Cut Special Edition box-set contains a set of eight glossy card prints, an exclusive limited edition Senitype image, a copy of the original theatrical poster, and a book of the shooting draft script by Hampton Fancher and Big Davey Peoples. And what about the disc itself? Well, it has to be said its a bit of a let-down in comparison all you get is some production notes, cast bios and film highlights (and no, regardless of how much the manufacturers always try to tell us otherwise, Interactive menu and Scene access are NOT extra features!!). Version Reviewed: Blade Runner - Special Edition is one of a multitude of editions which also includes the, pricey, Blade Runner (Limited Edition Collectors Set) DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
Thrilling, accessible and visually magnificent, its high time we all made room for another watch of this timeless slice of sci-fi noir.