Blade Runner

Year: 1982
Production Co: The Ladd Company
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher
Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Heaur, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Brion James, James Hong, Joanna Cassidy

Okay, I think I've tried this enough. I'm finished with this, and this is now unquestionably my final and definitive review of Blade Runner after watching the film four times and constantly feeling like I was an idiot for missing the magic of such a classic.

Yes it has some brilliant production design for the pre CGI era. Yes it had a charismatic excess of cinematic style and a intriguing pace more like an arthouse French film than a Hollywood action adventure. Yes it was a noir thriller and a sci-fi flick rolled into one – all the elements are there from the cynical, knowing cop Deckard (Ford) to the grand conspiracy he uncovers and the ice queen dame (Young) he melts along the way.

But no matter how hard I've tried the whole movie just leaves me cold. If I hadn't spent the last 30 years hearing what a timeless classic it is (except we're only eight years away from that world as I write this and there's no sign of flying police cars or rebellious AI robots yet) I probably wouldn't have bothered watching it all the way through the first time I sat down in front of the VHS version.

You probably know the story. Deckard is forced back into the police unit where he used to round up the sentient robots that have gone haywire (replicants). He meets Tyrrell – the enigmatic CEO of the corporation who makes them – and his svelte right hand woman Rachel, who may or may not be one of the rogue robots.

Meanwhile, the leader of the errant band, Roy (Hauer) is making his way to Tyrrell so he can ask the question that's consuming him – how to extend the four or five year lifespan built into replicants and be immortal.

Their mutually exclusive agendas are going to bring Roy and Deckard into violent collision, but by the time I got there and heard the iconic line about Orion's Belt and the Tannhauser Gate the film media (and most fans) always go gaga over, I couldn't have cared less.

It's one of those films that's grown way beyond its original borders, with every offhand fixture and line now movie lore as enduring as Boba Fett. But I just can't see what everyone else can and after four tries, I don't suppose I ever will.

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