AFI Top 100: No. 97 Blade Runner

I was ecstatic to see Blade Runner as it featured my all-time favorite actor, Harrison Ford. (Side note: Harrison Ford, well Indiana Jones, was my first crush but more on that when I reach Raiders of the Lost Ark) Ridley Scott served as the director and I have enjoyed many of his films, especially Gladiator, American Gangster and the largely underrated Kingdom of Heaven. Even though I was excited to see it, I knew absolutely nothing about the film.

The visuals were terrific, especially for the early 1980s. I say this, even though Star Wars and Indiana Jones have already been released, but the darkness and not too over-the-top or cartoonish futuristic atmosphere set a gloomy tone. It was interesting to me how much of an Asian culture they had Los Angeles become in the film. Even though many of the pedestrians and extras were Asian, not a single lead was of Asian descent. They had Asian advertisements everywhere too, I just found it so strange the film indicated such a strong Asian culture but did not explore an Asian character.

I digress. The concept was brilliant, especially with it being set in the 1980s. It was the obvious precedent to multiple robotic human movies of the 2000 and the idea that perhaps we could someday make a machine more intelligent than us.

Despite this, the film dragged. It was slow and while the darkness did help in setting the mood, it did no justice in maintaining or raising excitement. The romance between Rachael and Rick Deckard seemed forced. There was absolutely zero chemistry and she was so obviously a replicant from the get-go. This so-called love story really took away from the film and I believe it would have been better off without it.

The character of Rick Deckard should have been more developed. I understand the director wanted to drive the audience into guessing if he was a replicant or not, but in my opinion he did a poor job of this. Yes, Rachael continually asked him if he had taken that test. Yes, he constantly went on missions by himself. Yes, you learned absolutely nothing about his past. Yes, Gaff at the end of the movie put the origami unicorn on his dresser at the end of the film to signal he was aware of his dream, thus making him a replicant. Maybe I’m too practical, but there is one issue to this that remains, he is absolutely no where near as strong as his replicant enemies. When he leaped to the other building, he struggled and he could not even pull himself up. Replicant Roy Batty had no issues doing so. This reason alone makes me believe there is no way Deckard was a replicant.

It was an original concept with brilliant graphics for that time period. I believe the story line could have been more in depth than it was.

Would I watch it again? Probably not.

Am I going to Google everything about why Deckhard was supposedly a replicant? Yes.

Do I think it should be in the AFI Top 100 list? If it is solely for the reason it was a unique concept and for the graphics than yes. The story line just needed serious work.

Also random side note, but what is it with the 1980s and owls? Labyrinth is the first one that comes to mind, but I know there are others.

Next Up: No. 96 Do The Right Thing

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One comment

  1. Hey
    Yeah Blade Runner was super cool, although the storyline was indeed lacking. But that was the point; it’s a movie about it’s theme, and the characters therefore transcend conventional filmmaking tropes to put that that forth

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