Jude Finestra Reviews Bladerunner–At Last
Behold! The glory of Bladerunner — science fiction, an apocalyptic future, philosophical self-doubting reflections by my man Harrison Ford. Behold! the magnificence of Bladerunner — music by Vangelis, an entire movie filmed (with the exception of one sunrise or sunset — oh the ambiguity!) in the dark.
Bask in the brilliance of director Ridley Scott and ask yourself: how could this man, the producer/director of Black Hawk Down (my man JP’s all time favorite war movie), the producer/director of Gladiator, and the director of Alien, for god’s sake, how could this man make a bad movie? Answer: he has.
I admit it. Scott did also make GI Jane and Thelma and Louise. Everyone has off days. Some chick probably made him do those.
Bladerunner has an almost mystical quality to it and was immediately nominated for two Oscars (I think a fucking popularity contest), won or was nominated for the BAFTA Film Award for more categories than I care to totally list here (but I will mention its nomination for Best Score award for Vangelis’ music), and was nominated for Best Cinematography Award, the International Fantasy Film Award (twice once in 1983 and once in 1993), and the Golden Globe. It won the Hugo (best dramatic presentation, 1983), won the London Critics Circle Film Award for visual concept in 1983, won the Los Angeles Critics Association Award for best cinematography (again 1983), and was nominated for five prestigious Saturn Awards (best genre video release, best director, best science fiction film, best special effects, best supporting actor) and after more than twenty years won a Saturn in 2008 for best DVD Special Edition Release. Clearly this movie was never headed for the dung heap.
Remember this movie came out in 1982. It has truly survived the test of time—much more so (sorry, Dr. H) than The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Almost a generation later Bladerunner is as fresh and compelling as it was when I was in college. Do I need to tell you that this is a rose? A bouquet of yellow roses!
Dude, I dare you to watch the following scene and not get drawn in.
If you read old reviews of Bladerunner, you’ll find all sorts of invective regarding the decision to add narration by Harrison Ford. The narration was added later, only when the powers that be decided that moviegoers would be too confused without it. Well, sometimes The Man gets it right. Ford’s narration is brilliant and quite frankly, as The Man predicted, holds the movie together and MAKES it so compelling. Through the narration it becomes clear that Ford is utterly conflicted about killing these replicators, but dude, it is his job. Consider these lines:
“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. Ex-Bladerunner. Ex-cop. Ex-killer.”
“Sushi, that’s what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish.”
“I quit because I’d had a belly full of killing. But then I’d rather be a killer than a victim.”
Then in this scene we see Ford forced to kill in cold blood yet again:
No, he’s no angel, he is burned out, on the verge of moral bankruptcy and a killer, but we know he’s still one of the good guys. What kind of actor can act out a cold-blooded killing and still leave us feeling that he’s one of the good guys? Harrison Ford, that’s who. No, he’s not Mr. Sweetness and Light. But he means well.
I’ll grant you that there is something lacking in originality in the premise for the script. It’s a Hollywood chestnut that human governments can’t tolerate anything nonhuman that has intelligence, spirit, character and poses a threat to our hegemony. Must kill all nonhuman forms of intelligence. Must kill anything alien or artificial (ala Battlestar Galactica). Yeah, yeah. But the execution (no pun intended) of this film makes up for any lack of originality in the premise.
I’m not going to tell you how it ends. You are a fool if you have not seen this movie yet so get your ass in gear and bathe in the glory of Bladerunner!
I think I’ll go watch it again myself.
Now what do you say, Dude? JP? was it worth the wait, Mr. “I haven’t received your review yet Mr. Finestra”? I hope you enjoyed it. I sure did.