Blade Runner (1982)
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah, William Sanderson
Synopsis: In 2019, humans have genetically engineered Replicants, which are essentially humans who are designed for labor and entertainment purposes. They are illegal on earth, and if they make it to our planet they are to be hunted down and killed. Their is a special unit within the LAPD called Blade Runner’s whose main task is to hunt and kill any replicants that have made it to Earth. After four Nexus-6 replicants from an off world colony have made their way to Earth in a quest to expand their live span. Replicants are only given a four year life span so they do not have the chance to develop a mind of their own. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former Blade Runner is brought in and explained the circumstances including a recently injured former colleague of Deckards that is in critical condition at the hospital. Deckard is given no choice in the matter and i charged with hunting down and killling the escaped replicants. The leader of the replicants Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) is searching for the head of the Tyrell Corporation, Dr. Eldon Tyrell for advancing his life span so he interrogates employees of Tyrell which leads him to J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson). Roy realizing that he needs Sebastian alive in order to get to Tyrell instructs the youngest replicant his lover Pris (Darryl Hannah) to get friendly with Sebastian and eventually introduce the two. Meanwhile Deckard heads to the Tyrell Corporation to interview Dr. Tyrell about the recent escape where he meets Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who believes she is actually a human. After meeting with Tyrell, Deckard follows up on a tip involving snake skin which leads him to one of the escaped replicants who tries to run from Deckard who in turn guns her down in the street. Afterwords he is attacked by the same replicant who had almost killed the other Blade Runner but before he can kill Deckard is shot by Rachael. After being introduced to Sebastian, Roy talks him into arranging a meeting with Dr. Tyrell. When Roy meets with Tyrell he is informed that there is no way that he can live longer and he responds to this by killing both Sebastian and Tyrell. Deckard lets Rachael go for saving his life but now must find the other two replicants. After finding where they are hiding Deckard kills Pris leading to a final confrontation with Roy.
Trivia: The term replicants is used nowhere in Philip K. Dick’s writing. The creatures in the source novel are called Androids or Andies. The movie abandoned these terms, fearing they would sound comical spoken on screen. Replicants came from David Webb Peoples’ daughter, Risa, who was studying microbiology and biochemistry. She introduced her father to the theory of replication – the process whereby cells are duplicated for cloning purposes.
Why I think you should see this: I have seen three different versions of Blade Runner: the theatrical cut, the directors cut and the final cut all are very interesting in their own way but my favourite version is the final cut because it is exactly that it just feels like a finished product. Harrison Ford is amazing a Deckard and Sean Young does a fine job as Rachael, Deckard’s love interest. The film would not be the cult classic/sci-fi masterpiece that it is without Rutger Hauer’s hauntingly brilliant turn as Roy Batty where he is somehow able to be both tender and vicious at the same time he was just amazing. I am cautiously optimistic about the planned Blade Runner sequel even though it will be helmed by Scott as well it just seems like one of those films that might be best left alone. If you haven’t seen this but enjoy science fiction then check this one out you will be pleasantly surprised.