Viewed – 28 December 2007 DVD
Well was I pleased when on a joyful Christmas morning, I unwrapped this from my brother. A huge metal case, concealing within, like a box of delights, a fold out cardboard case with 5 DVDs, art cards, a booklet, a transparent letter from director Ridley Scott, and also a holographic glass thingy-majig with a moving Harrison Ford film clip. Cool!
So on to the film, of which I’ll focus on the final cut rather than the previous versions presented in the Ultimate Collectors Edition; and it’s a film that fans and the director himself have obsessed over since its inception way back in 1982. How does it hold up, compared to todays glorious effects packed blockbusters? Surprisingly well, and this is both down to the original stunningly conceived future Los Angeles, that was ground breaking over 20 years ago, and the cityscapes, flying cars, awe-inspiring vistas and Tokyo-influenced city streets still pack a punch, even if much of it has been done to death in films like The Fifth Element and Minority Report. It goes to show how well done it actually was, that it still looks relevant today.
Now Blade Runner, for the under-educated is the story of world weary bounty hunter Deckard (Ford, in charismatic form, just like he used to be back in the 80s), who is reluctantly hired to track down four Replicants (kinda like cyborgs), who have ‘gone rogue’, and therefore been targeted for assassination. No easy feet – but Deckard is supposed to be the best. Now much has been discussed about this films ideas, theories and some of its imagery, such as Deckard’s much discussed ‘unicorn’ dream, and the pondering over (by fans at least) of whether or not he himself is also a Replicant. To be honest, watching this supposed final version, the one Ridley is satisfied with, offers no answers, and surprisingly doesn’t seem to point in the direction of Deckard being a Replicant at all, apart from a vague remark from his on/off love interest Rachel (Sean Young). The Unicorn dream also looks placed there for the hell of it, rather than having any real meaning.
Now that is also something I came away feeling a little bit cheated by – the film isn’t as deep or as thought provoking as I had expected, that its in-fact a very simple story, and even these supposedly tough Replicants are a piece of piss apart from Rutger Hauer, who prefers to camp it up ridiculously rather than kick ass. So then I was left thinking that it was a film that isn’t as big as its legacy, that in reality the final version presented here is just a straight forward sci-fi drama, with admittedly stunning visuals, a likable lead performance, but very little more.
Maybe all this pondering and discussion was the fans trying to find something the film ultimately lacks.
(Packaging, additional material however, an easy 5 /5)