Saturday, November 15, 2008

blade runner

ed. note: i normally use this blog to write about movies that i love, but lest you think i love every movie i see, i thought i would include a review here of a film that i did not enjoy.

last year someone who knows that i love movies got me this movie as a gift, presumably becuase it has a reputation among some as one of the great movies of american cinema, and among others as the greatest science fiction film of the 1980's. directed by ridley scott and starring harrison ford, i had heard of this film, but had never watched it or had any idea what it was about.

i've tried watching it a couple of times over the last couple of months, but had great difficulty actually getting through it. the pace was slow, and while the visuals and effects may have been groundbreaking in the '80s, they were anything but to me. in the fast changing world of technology, particularly as it relates to film and cgi and all that hollywood is able to do to aid our imaginations, i will give this film the benefit of the doubt here; that if i saw this in 1988 i would have been amazed by the visuals and the vision of the future that ridley scott presented.

however, even if i throw a bone to the film in terms of visuals and effects, i am still disappointed by the story itself, the skeletal plot, and the lack of characters. during the final and climactic scene, i found myself not caring at all what happened, because i just hadn't felt any connection to any of the characters. i think i had some high expectations about this film, based on its reputation, but i was largely disappointed.

finally, and this isn't a criticism of the film itself, per se, but i hate visions of the future that are utterly hopeless. this film shows a future that is devoid of life. it just feels like a bunch of programmed robots walking around, emotionless, hopeless. i just can't imagine a humanity like that. it doesn't fit with my worldview. no matter how dark the times get; no matter how low the arc of history draws us, people will cling to hope and life and love and will make the best of darkness in which they find themselves. when a story about the future doesn't make an attempt to even show that side of humanity, i have trouble staying tuned-in, because the despair is almost too much to bear. but that's not really a criticism of the movie, that's more about me.

anyway, anyone out there like this movie? why?


Craig L. Adams said...

Not me. I've seen it a couple of times. I've always disliked it. And, I often like Ridley Scott's work. But, not in this case.

Glenn said...

I also watched it around the time it came out and didn't really "get" it then. I tried again years later when it was on TV, but it still didn't click with me.

Jigsaw said...

Blade Runner is a classic.The story on which it is based is a classic also.It was written by Philip K Dick.But I do admit it might not be for everyone!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Sci-Fi is very hit and miss for me. So many films of the genre are slow, confusing stories with uninteresting characters. Sadly, this was one of them. It fit right in with 'Dune' and 'Stargate' as movies I was completely bored by.