Blade Runner is not afraid to ask hard-hitting questions about artificial intelligence and its existence. What makes one human? Is it the way one looks, speaks, or is made? Do we have the heart to kill it? That is Decker’s job, a “Blade Runner” played by Harrison Ford. He has no trouble killing to the point he has grown tired of his job “retiring” Replicants, that is until he meets Rachel. Welcome to Ridley Scott’s chilling magnum opus: Blade Runner, an audiovisual dream and box office nightmare.
How to Stream or Download Blade Runner (1982)
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store of your choice. Click on the Download button at the end of this review. Check out also our review of Blade Runner 2049.
The Movie Review
Set in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles, where bioengineered humanoids known as Replicants illegally roam the Earth. They were manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on space colonies, and are meant to expire after a few years, but a refugee group of enslaved replicants have learnt to increase their lifespan. Enter Rick Deckard, a retired police officer who doesn’t possess any empathy for android life.
An unexpected reunion brings him back to hunting down these replicants, along the way, he meets Rachel – a replicant, who isn’t aware that she is. Although he successfully tracks down and kills every replicant, he can’t bring himself to kill her.
They escape together, but Deckard’s relationship with Rachel raises a lot of questions about love. If he can fall in love with her, is she also human? Or is Deckard just a pervert?
Director Ridley Scott is not picky with movie genres, having done his fair share of crime in Thelma & Louise, he’s done action in G.I. Jane, horror in Hannibal, and he’s also directed the sci-fi hit Alien. Combine all these genres into one package and you have Blade Runner, a film that is a hybrid of different movie genres.
It also has many film noir conventions: alienated detectives, dark rainy streets, and femme fatales. At the heart of it, Ridley was drawn to the moral aspects of film noir, in which the hero has a questionable moral outlook and begins killing what are essentially people, even if they were synthetically created. Even though the film was trashed by critics and audiences during its release, it was a film that was way ahead of its time.
What fascinated me about this film is the world the characters walked on, the streets of Los Angeles have never looked this gorgeous. There’s the urban decay, the divide of social classes, never-ending crime, and gloomy skyscrapers all blended into a futuristic setting. This aesthetic gave Blade Runner an edge no sci-fi movie has ever had, other than its recurring philosophical themes, of course.
Vangelis’ hypnotizing soundtrack just adds to the immersion of the film as well, it stands out at the right moments but never gets lost in the background. Another great aspect of the film is the interrogation scenes that eventually lead up to chase scenes after it is revealed that the replicants aren’t human.
Call that perfect writing, plus the way the actors executed them made it more thrilling. Honestly, casting Harrison Ford as Deckard is the best decision they ever made, I can’t imagine anyone else playing a cynical, burnt-out cop quite as naturally as him. Sean Young is also phenomenal as Rachel, who does a great job shifting between playing a reserved humanoid and seductive woman, completely playing with our minds and begging us the question – is this chick really human?
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, it was hard to find things to complain about with this film, except the sometimes confusing plot. The film has gone through several versions and your opinion on it may vary depending on which one you’re watching. That goes without saying, no film is truly perfect. Blade Runner is a heartbreakingly beautiful and mesmerizing experience, it does everything a film should do, and it’s to make audiences reflect on their own existence in this strange, bizarre world.