Blade Runner: Why it’s so good.

After my usual run of posts about dogs, weather, and country life, followed by a protracted foray into the world of fiction, for some reason, I got to thinking about ‘Blade Runner’ again.

I may have said before, but I really like this film. If I did a list, (and I don’t) it would be on it, and very near the top too. I have met people who don’t rate this film, and some who don’t actually like it. I suppose I could do a review of it. It would be about 3,000 words, and full of film and cinema terminology, appraisals of scenes, and comments about what a marvellous director Ridley Scott is. But that has been done, and done better than I could ever do. There have been volumes written about this film, as well as numerous cuts made available, with or without the infamous narration.

Sometimes, a film just works. It might have a so-so cast, a story bordering on the silly, and production values that leave much to be desired. But it works. And Blade Runner has none of these drawbacks. It has a brilliant director, a great cast, a large budget, imaginative sets, and a compelling story. The script is sparing, and all the better for it, and it is full of good ideas, or good developments of old ideas. It is a futuristic sci-fi film but nothing happens outside of a recognisable earthbound setting. If you have not seen it by now, then the chances are that you are under 21, or just never intend to watch it.

So why do I like it so much? I will list the reasons why. (People love lists)

Replicants. Not a new idea, but the best realisation of an old one.

The Voight-Kampff test machine. Just wonderful.

The origami animals. Inspired.

Language. Lots of people look Japanese or Chinese in the USA of the future. And they speak an amazing mixed-up language. I want to learn it.

Flying cars. They look like Citroens, and they fly. I want one.

Sean Young. Sultry, amazing. A retro throwback to glamorous women.

Daryl Hannah. The complete opposite. Replicant, athletic, and still very sexy, even with a black stripe painted across her face.

Joanna Cassidy. Mature and sexy as hell. Stripping snake charmer of a ‘certain age.’ What’s not to like there?

Accelerated Decrepitude. J.F. Sebastian suffers from this. One of the best made-up diseases ever.

J.F. Sebastian’s spooky mechanical companions. I want one.

The Tyrell Corporation. The coolest name for a scary, all-powerful corporation ever. Say it Tie-Rell.

Eldon Tyrell. Have you seen his glasses?

The weather in Los Angeles. (In 2019, apparently) Almost always raining. A lot like Beetley.

Harrison Ford. Yes, even him. He looks tired enough, and fed up enough, to be completely believable.

The replicant owl. An owl that looks real, but is a machine. I’ll take one.

Rutger Hauer. Born to play Roy Batty. The replicant with a soul.

Roy Batty’s final monologue. “Time to Die”, etc. Poetic.

There you have it. Five hundred words on why I love this film. If you haven’t seen it, you have no idea what you’ve missed. And if you have seen it, and didn’t like it. Oh well…

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32 thoughts on “Blade Runner: Why it’s so good.

    1. Thanks, Lloyd. Well she was still young, relatively speaking. But she is seven years older than me, which I didn’t know then. I thought she was around forty at the time, (she was 37) and looked it. That said, she was still very sexy!
      ( By comparison, Sean young was 23, and Daryl Hannah 22.)
      Glad you liked this post.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pete, I too share your love of this movie (with or without the voice over, happy ending, dark ending who cares? I will watch them all). However, if you haven’t yet read the book it is very different to the movie; it is full of electric sheep, electric goats, ponies, lead lined codpieces etc. A very different story. Much credit to the screenwriters for improving on a great story.

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      1. I first saw Blade Runner on a cold winter night 35 years ago. The theater had a wide screen. It was a weekday night, and there were only a handful of people in the theater. Without the distraction of other theater goers, it was an immersive experience both visually and audibly. In my mind, I can still replay the experience.

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  2. I have Blade Runner on DVD, and have watched it many times. I’ve seen the one with the voiceover and “happy ending,” but the edition I have is a Director’s Cut wherein the unicorn origami appears at the end and therefore provides a clue to the film’s main enigma (Deckard’s identity). This is a great film, Pete, and definitely one of my favorites.

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    1. I have the original DVD release, the Director’s Cut, and the ‘Final Cut.’ I can never decide which one I prefer, and watch them all in turn. If I could have only one, it would probably be the original cinema version.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. I have a DVD of ‘Stigmata’, that has an alternate (happy) ending, accessed by the menu. I am not sure about the whole concept of alternative endings though. I think a film should generally stand or fall based on the original idea.
          Nice thought though.
          As for ‘Blade Runner’, I think I prefer the version with narration. It adds a certain something, and Ford does it well.
          Regards, Pete.

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  3. Pete, couldn’t agree more with what you said. But I will add more. Where to start? Go to Youtube.com and re-watch the Rutger Hauer “tears in rain” monologue. Then, realize it was partly ad-libbed. Look at the special effects in big budget movies today, and see how so much of it came out of this movie. Harrison Ford, back when Harrison Ford was Harrison Ford! Sean Young. Noir. Dystopian. This movie defines the whole genre. Ridley Scott. See what Ridley Scott has been able to do because of this film. One other thing, this film was widely regarded as a flop when it was released, ahead of its time, but time has proven the nay-sayers wrong. Thanks for the great post. Switching to decaf now. -Erik

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    1. Thanks, Erik. You are obviously a fan! I liked Scott after ‘The Duellists’, and remained an admirer since. I even loved ‘Prometheus’!
      Not sure about ‘Logan’s Run’ without Jenny Agutter though…
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Expecting a late night last night, due to a later than normal afternoon nap on Malinas part, I looked to a film to watch to keep me going. I hovered over Blade Runner with quite a long pause, before deciding on something new instead (The Informant) I wish I had gone with the former, now that you have reminded me of how fantastic it is. Copied to USB in anticipation of my next late night!

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      1. Only managed an hour of it so I can’t even tell you if its worth watching, although set in the ’80s and ’90s the bits I watched served as a reminder of how things have changed; notably fashion and technology!

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  5. Love your list Pete (see… you were right!) and I agree wholeheartedly on how great Blade Runner is.
    A small film trivia: Hauer added “like tears in rain” to the monologue as improv.

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