Once again, let’s subvert the formula here; I’m not going to do a straight up review of Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner.” It’s more of an interpretation of the possibilities.
But first, the story (with spoilers):
Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a retired Blade Runner, a cop/bounty hunter whose purpose is to track down Replicants, robots designed to look human. They’re illegal on Earth, and humans are given free rein to ‘retire’ them.
Deckard is blackmailed into coming back to the force when a shuttle filled with ‘skinjobs’ shows up in Los Angeles, and four Replicants are on the loose, running from their deaths.
Just to spice things up, a fifth Replicant, Rachael (Sean Young), enters the scene; she’s an experimental model who doesn’t know that her life is just dream, memories culled from the lives of real people.
All in all, I found the movie itself a bit boring and I didn’t really care about any of the characters, but as it did raise some interesting questions here and there, I’m not going to completely dismiss it. In an amusing coincidence, I saw “Blade Runner” a day after I finished a great “Battlestar Galactica” binge, and both projects deal with similar themes.
In “Blade Runner,” I really couldn’t help being on the side of the Replicants. Think about it; humans made them stronger, faster, smarter, just so they can serve us in the jobs we don’t want to do, and then, so we don’t have to worry too much about them in the long run, we program them to only live for four years.
Man, we suck as creators; they want to revolt and kill their parents, can’t say I blame them, or that humanity didn’t have it coming.
But the big mystery and one of the more intriguing questions of “Blade Runner” is whether or not Deckard is a Replicant.
If he is a Replicant in Rachael’s mode, not only is he a traitor to his own kind, but he definitely got the short end of genetic engineering. He’s too human to be among them, and he’s not strong enough to hold up in an all-out brawl.
Honestly, that to me is the weaker ending; if he’s human, and has been from the start, his love story with Rachael has far more depth and meaning than just two robots coming together. For a human, a mere, petty human, to make that leap to seeing the value of an ‘other’ is extraordinary storytelling. If he’s just a robot, who cares? He’s risking nothing but a fake life for real love.
Scott, you made the wrong call; keep him human. With endless version of the film out there, I’m certain you can find the one that most appeals to your views. So for me, if he stays human, the movie’s worth something (but not too much mind you; it’s no ‘Battlestar’). If not, it’s just a waste of time.
“Blade Runner” (1982)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples
Starring: Harrison Ford (Deckard)
Sean Young (Rachael)
Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty)