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Blade Runner (1982) - Film Review

Updated on May 12, 2011

The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically engineered beings called replicants, visually indistinguishable adult humans that are manufactured by the "all powerful" Tyrell Corporation. As a result of a violent replicant uprising, their use on Earth is banned, and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous or menial work on Earth's off-world colonies.


Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and "retired" by police assassins known as "blade runners". The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the semi-retired blade runner, RickDeckard, who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment.


A primary example of Mise-en-scene, Blade Runner brought us into a colorful and exuberant world of mystery and wonder through his take on a machine driven future. This however, was the only thing the film truly had going for it. Poor acting, sloppy editing, and rushed storyline are just a few of the downsides to this overly thought out, ego-driven film that dragged on and on. And that was just the thing! It drags on and on yet the story is felt to be rushed with poorly developed characters and no true resolution or dynamic characterization throughout the film. It solved nothing, and left no remorse from me for the “replicant” individuals.

It gave background on the world, but no background on the people. The most enjoyable scene in the film was the scene where Harrison Ford is seen sitting at a local Chinese food shop and a backdrop of the surrounding Mise-en-scene gives you an “uuu ahhh” moment but that was it. It only reiterated the point that great stories are built from good characters, and not from melancholic exaggerated and expensive scenery. I do feel the the Directors Cut of the film however did give a more in depth look into the world and into defining each of the characters development, and overall resolution throughout. I'd recommend seeing that version over the original theatrical release. Overall, it deserves a "one-time watch" for the average movie audience.


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