Resolutions 2014: Blade Runner

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So as the guest posts are winding down, I thought it’d be a good time to sneak in another film review of my own for Resolutions 2014. I gotta say, this was one I had high expectations for. My sister specifically requested it for Christmas, and we tend to have similar taste, so I figured I’d like it, too. And, of course, the fact that it stars young Harrison Ford didn’t deter me. But this isn’t Indiana Jones or Star Wars we’re dealing with—this is much darker and much stranger. Unfortunately—and I really hate saying this—Blade Runner was not my cup of tea.

Blade Runner (1982)

Synopsis: “Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down and terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to Earth seeking their maker.” –www.imdb.com

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What I liked:

  • Young Harrison Ford. I realize I already mentioned that, but can you really talk about him enough? As “blade runner” Rick Deckard, Ford might not get to play a role as charming as Indiana Jones or Han Solo, but he’s still that tough guy with a heart of gold we know so well, and we love him for it.
  • Rutger Hauer. I haven’t seen him in much—just The Hitcher and a few episodes of True Blood—but he makes quite an impression here. As bad-guy replicant Roy Batty (an apt last name, I might add), he’s pretty darn menacing. And toward the end, he’s all kinds of crazy as he runs through an abandoned building, shirtless and howling like an animal. It’s great. But what’s even better is his last monologue, which includes his own improvised simile “like tears in rain.” The monologue surprises you by suddenly making Roy sympathetic. It’s the best moment of the film.
  • Daryl Hannah. She is delightfully crazy as replicant Pris. When she paints her face like a creepy doll and flips around like an acrobat, I couldn’t help thinking of Batman villain Harley Quinn. Given that Harley Quinn is awesome, I don’t consider this a bad thing.
  • Gaff. Played by Edward James Olmos, Gaff is a man of few words, but with his cane, bowtie, and penchant for origami, he’s one of the most interesting characters in the film. I didn’t exactly know who he was or what he was doing most of the time, but he’s so damn cool that I didn’t really question anything.
  • The setting. The floating cars, off-world colonies, and imaginative technology might be ridiculously advanced for five years from now (it’s set in 2019), but it’s still a very cool imagining of the future. Actually, it reminded me of the Fox TV show Almost Human, which is also set 30+ years in the future. Though that could be because of the similar themes—Almost Human is about a robot cop who acts…well, almost human. You could draw parallels with the replicants.

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What I didn’t like:

  • It’s confusing. For me, at least. I understood most of what was going on, but there were several instances when I had to pause and think, “Wait, who’s this?” or “What does that mean?” For example, it took me a while to realize who Zhora the snake lady was (a replicant), and the whole bit with the unicorn dream completely baffles me—just a few of several headscratchers.
  • The plodding scenes. I went in expecting a snappy, more action-packed film, so maybe I just had the wrong mindset, but to me a lot of this film drags. The scene in the eye place sticks out as one of those scenes, and so does one of Rachael’s visits with Rick, though I can’t recall which one. If the film had spent less time with moments like these are more time addressing the brief, confusing moments, I would’ve been a happier camper.
  • The uncomfortable, kind of forced love scene between Rick and Rachael. Did that bother anybody else? She tries to leave, and he basically grabs her head and makes her kiss him. I know it’s supposed to be “passionate,” but to me it seemed mostly violent. I couldn’t tell if he was going to kiss her or snap her neck. How, erm, romantic…
  • The abrupt ending. It’s one of those films where it ends and you just kind of sit there for a minute, then tilt your head and ask, “Really?”
  • The mix of sci-fi and noir. In theory, it sounds really, really cool. In practice…eh. I think it’s just too dark and heavy. I expect that of a noir, of course, but when the sci-fi aspect is just as grim as the noir, it kind of becomes too much for me. I felt the same about Watchmen. Whoops—now I’ve possibly given you another reason to unfollow me…please don’t. :/

A Worthy Resolution? I’m not so sure. Again, perhaps if I’d gone in with a different mindset I’d feel differently. As it stands, I find this movie grim, confusing, and slow. Ford is always a pleasure to watch, and Hauer and Hannah are great, eerie villains, but as a whole Blade Runner just didn’t do it for me. I can almost hear the cries of outrage…Forgive me, sci-fi lovers, for I have sinned.

My Grade: B-

Better luck next time, eh? I intend to crank out one or two more resolutions this week, and hopefully one or two more guests will pop up as well! You’ll definitely see one tomorrow, so come back then! 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Resolutions 2014: Blade Runner

  1. Oddly, you watched and reviewed Taxi Driver right before I was poised to. And now you’ve done the same with Blade Runner. I expect to see it in the next week or two. Hopefully I like it more than you do. 😉

    • I’m glad you’re with me on this one, Mikey. Honestly, I had to wait a couple days before writing this review. It’s one that you just need time to wrap your head around…Haha.

  2. never been a big fan of it. reviewed it back in may and I wasn’t too nice to it

    great review cara (and it’s nice to see you also writing reviews for a change) 🙂

  3. Nice review! Have not watched this, but the villains being cool has certainly caught my interest. It dropped again afterwards though, as the film overall does not seem that appealing. Regardless, at least it starred the talented Harrison Ford.

    • You might check it out. I mean, like I said, maybe if I’d been prepared for it to be so heavy and slow I might’ve liked it more…I’d definitely be interested in your opinion of it!

  4. Good review Cara. I just watched this for the first time awhile back and though it was slow, I found it to be well worth the wait and the suspense. Then again though, who knows what version I actually saw of this considering there’s about 4,000 of them out there!

  5. I think anyone who just sees this for the first time is probably not going to love it. If you saw it when you were a kid and have good memories of it for 30 years – it will probably be more your bag. Good stuff, Cara!!

  6. I agree with this review. Some things about Blade Runner are awesome but it suffers from 80’s-itis and I’m not sure it’s the classic everyone plays it out to me.

  7. Great review! This is something I have been meaning to watch again recently, this post has just propelled me to do it. I really liked it when I was younger, but will it stand the test of time?

  8. Interesting! Someone who is NOT impressed by Blade Runner! Did u watch th original 1982 version (with Ford’s narration) or the 1992 Directors Cut (without)? The original helped to expain what was going on! This is 1 of my faves, but don’t worry: that unicorn sequence bothers me as well (looks like an outtake from Legend (1986). You might like to have a look @ http://bradscribe.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/science-friction/
    Good work. I Follow from now on

    • Hey there! Thanks, friend! You know, I believe I watched the director’s cut, so maybe that was my mistake–I bet having narration would help immensely. Someday down the line when I give it another shot, I’ll make a point to seek out the original. I read your article–nice job, although you have a very bleak outlook on the future of sci-fi! Haha. I see where you’re coming from though. It’s getting harder and harder to find truly original or even good movies in the genre. Sadly, I could say that of a lot of genres. Lol. Here’s hoping things start looking up soon! 🙂

      • Thank you for replying so quick! I appreciate the Feedback. About things looking up: I plan to develop my own film scripts, but th industry now just seems to rely too much on comic-book adaptations – now THAT is bleak! What movies are u going to review next?

        • Honestly, I’m not really sure! I have no immediate plans to see anything in theaters. You might not want to hear this, but the next big film I’m awaiting is actually Winter Soldier…hahaha. For now, I’m focusing on TV. Although I’m curious about Grand Budapest Hotel, so I might sneak that in somewhere. 🙂

        • I’m easy: Winter Soldier could be quite promising. Grand Budapest Hotel is 1 of the few I would love to watch: good choice. Big fan of Wes Anderson! Cheers

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