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(I saw the director’s cut, for those keeping track at home.) Back to back Ridley Scott pictures, and both receive one star. Hm. I haven’t seen enough of his movies to comment, I suppose.

I must admit, I came into this movie with relatively high expectations. Deservedly so, I think. #99 on, based on a Philip K. Dick story, starring Harrison Ford. Those are pretty valid reasons to look forward to a movie.

But then I fell asleep. A lot. I’d tried watching the movie twice on TV, fell asleep both times. And three separate times watching the Netflixed DVD until I managed to struggle through it. I think I gave the movie a fair shake. The problem, as may be obvious, is that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS STUPID MOVIE. I’m firmly convinced that anyone touting Blade Runner as a classic scifi movie (or 2001, for that matter) doesn’t actually like science fiction. Because, yes, there are some cool futuristic effects and depictions, but I kinda expect my scifi to have a storyline. I’m picky like that.

So there are replicants, they look and act like humans, but are more badass. And have a three year shelf life. Banned from the planet, a few make it back, and Harrison Ford is the only one who can hunt them down. The only way to determine a replicant, of course, is through a standardized test. This movie brought to you by ETS! Anyway, Harrison Ford has to eliminate the five or so replicants before they cause a ruckus. Except he’s really terrible at his job. He’s only responsible for killing like two of them.

And that’s basically the movie, save for some Coke ads and Sean Young looking sad. There isn’t even really much scifi psychobabble. Just…nothing. Except lots and lots of boredom.

I will say that the supporting cast is pretty awesome. Well, the major supporting players, like Rutger Hauer and M. Emmet Walsh aren’t bad. But the crew under them are great. William Sanderson (E.B. from Deadwood) does what he does best. And his toys may be the highlight of the movie. Daryl Hannah is rather alluring and (spoiler alert) has the best death scene of the movie. James Hong (token Asian guy in like everything) makes what would be a dreadful scene almost tolerable. And Edward James Olmos, though woefully underused, shows Harrison Ford what it means to be badass.

Ford, by the way, is rather wimpy, I thought. That’s not entirely his fault, as his character doesn’t really get to do much (as I might have mentioned once or twice). Ford is a tremendous action-adventure star, if not the best, but Blade Runner overmatches him. He needs something against which to act, specifically as an almost outmatched sheepish hero, and I don’t just mean the terrorists in Air Force One. He works in, say, Sabrina, because he can still do his uncomfortable laughter, still be in his element in situations where by all rights he shouldn’t be.

Granted, it doesn’t help that Sean Young never got the memo the replicant she was playing was supposed to act like a human being. She’s nice to look at, though.

(Spoiler alert) I don’t really understand the controversy over whether Deckard is a replicant or not. The movie doesn’t really address it. I wish it would have, that might have been a little intriguing. As it is, I don’t care what Scott said or didn’t say, there’s no point in hoping the movie delivers.

Obviously people like this movie. I can’t understand why. Unless they enjoyed the movie’s all natural sleep-inducing effects. There’s an interesting idea in there (obviously, Philip K. Dick wrote it), but Scott and screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Peoples just mangle things. The concept of replicants is definitely thought-provoking (hence their appearance again and again in scifi) but Blade Runner chooses to do nothing more than present them as an idea, as opposed to taking the concept anywhere meaningful.

Trailer after the jump. It does a fair job summarizing the boredom that is Blade Runner. Read the rest of this entry »

June 2008
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