Blade Runner

On Fridays, for a change of pace, I am going to review movies and books from a genre that I find quite interesting.  As many of you have picked up by now, your intrepid blogger likes science fiction and fantasy stories.  I believe authors can make statements in such stories that are sometimes profound but won’t get dismissed without thought because they are couched in storylines that are, at least on the surface, far removed from our lives.  Avatar is a notable exception because many people take it to be very overt in its message (I’ll get to that one in a later entry).

Blade Runner stood out as a non-typical science fiction movie in its day.  Although Hollywood had shown future’s less gleaming than Star Trek or Star Wars before (Omega Man, Damnation Alley, and Logan’s Run to name a few), somehow Blade Runner came across as more realistic.  I don’t necessarily mean with the setting but rather  with human nature.  Most science fiction movies have “good guys” and “bad guys.”  Lesley, who studied film, tells me that Star Wars is basically a western in space.  But I don’t think anyone would take Blade Runner for a western.

The concept is that humanity is so advanced that we now create robots (replicants) to do our dirty work.  But there’s a catch.  To make sure that the replicants do not become too powerful, they have a ‘self destruct’ date of four years or so.  Some of the replicants don’t like this and that is what drives the story.

It’s a darker and grittier version of the future.  But in a world where faith and love don’t drive us, I believe it is a realistic critique on what we could become (robots or not).   Harrison Ford (in a far different role from Han Solo but looking much the same), Sean Young, and Rutger Howard star.

Did you see it? What did you think?

All the best,



4 thoughts on “Blade Runner

  1. Oddly enough, I have watched Bladerunner recently on TV. It ws the first time I had watched a) the Director’s Cut and b) since I had read up on the controversy about the production. So I must confess, I was paying more attention to the ‘mechanics’ of the film rather than the storyline and themes. But it definitely does depict a world where, as in real life, humans create for their own convenience without thinking through the consequences. How many crises in our current age have been precipitated by a similar attitude – global warming (to whatever degree you believe – we do have an implact on our environment); the financial culture; Osama Bin Laden. We need to take more care of our world and our fellow man/woman/child. As you say Tom, we need to be driven by faith and love and not personal/political/financial gain.

    1. I have just learned that I can reply to replies on here. This is going to make this blog more fun as we can dialog. Slowly but surely I am getting used to blogging!
      In the movie Wall Street, the character Gordon Gecko says, “Greed is good.” It was shocking at the time because of course those with a religious background know the Bible says the opposite. Nevertheless, there are substantial numbers of people who still buy into this mindset. They believe that if they buy more and more things for themselves, they are driving the global economy and providing jobs. But of course which jobs and the effects their choices make do not come into the equation. I remain shocked that when the current conflict started back in 2001, hearing a call in on a radio show where an educated guy, on his way to work in ‘Silicon Valley’, said, “You know, we live in a free country. That means I am free to buy whatever I want to. And if we have to send some of our citizens to fight for that way of life, then so be it.” He thought our freedom that we fight for is not freedom of speech, or press, or assembly, or religion. No, it is reduced to the “freedom” to “buy whatever he wants.” And he believed people should be willing to die for that “freedom”. I believe many people in our society are confused as adults because they have grown up thinking of themselves not as children of God or citizens of a nation but simply as consumers.

  2. I was fascinated by this film when it first came out and have watched it several times on cable and again closely when the director’s cut came out. It is so completely different in content and “feel” from most sci fi flicks. It many ways it seems more modern and relevant now than when it first appeared. Consider that with advances in genetics, the possibility of creating “replicants” is not as far-fetched as it once seemed. I also remember being disturbed by the dark, rainy environment in the film all those years ago, and wandering, “What harm could humans have possibly done to the environment to cause such a change in climate, and block out the sun?” And look where we are now, with global warming, melting ice caps, etc.! This film makes us question what it means to be “human,” and leaves us with the hope that we never reach a point where life of any kind (including artificially created life) is not exploited. That moment when Rutger Hauer as the replicant lowers his head and dies (after having fought so hard to find a way to live) and we feel his “humanity”…’s a powerful moment.

    1. I have just learned that I can reply to replies on here. This is going to make this blog more fun as I can now dialog. Slowly but surely I am getting used to blogging!
      Kathy – Absolutely. In a way, we all have to learn Rutger Howard’s character’s lesson. Life is valuable, any life. If not for the way it is currently being lived, at least for the potential for life. Despite in all the scifi stories of many civilizations across the universe, in reality what science shows us is our universe is largely life lifeless. We’ve got something special here and need to take better care of it.

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