Blade Runner is a 1982 theatrical movie based on the story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. The Film has had multiple versions released since the initial release due to Executive decisions and multiple home video releases. For this page the 1992 Director's Cut is used.
Blade Runner opens in Los Angeles circa 2019 . We are introduced to a man named Leon. Leon is a recent employee of the Tyrell corporation. Leon is taking a Voight-Kampff Empathy test, proctored by a Blade Runner. The point of the test is to determine if an individual is a replicant, genetically modified humanoids used for menial labor and soldiers on space colonies. The test determines if an individual is a replicant due to lack of emotional or empathic response to questions. During the test when it becomes likely that Leon will be outed as a replicant, he shoots the Blade Runner.
The film switches to a noodle bar. There, retired Blade Runner Richard Deckard is arrested by a pair of police officers and taken to the police station. Bryant, Deckard's former supervisor, informs Deckard that four Replicants escaped and came to Earth. It is illegal for replicants to be on Earth and Blade Runners track them down and kill or "retire" them. Deckard is shown the video of Leon's Voight-Kampff test. After Bryant threatens him, Deckard agrees to track down LEon and the three other replicants, Roy Batty, Zhora, and Priss. Bryant explains that they are Nexus-6 replicants. This means they have a four year life span so as to prevent the development of emotions and a desire for independence. This provides a possible motive for their arrival on earth as tehy may be looking for a way to extend their life.
Deckard is teamed with the officer that arrested him, Gaff, so as to make sure the Voight-Kampff test works on Nexus-6 replicants. To do so, Deckard visits the Tyrell corporation, the company that makes replicants, and meets with Tyrell himself. while there, Deckard performs the test on Tyrell's assistant Rachael. After the test, Tyrell explains to Deckard that Rachael is an experimental replicant who believes she is human. Rachael was implanted with memories copied from Tyrell's niece and as a result it takes much longer for the Voight-Kampff to determine she is a replicant. During the meeting, Rachael suggests Deckard himself take the test.
The movie switches from Deckard to Roy and Leon. The duo head to an eye manufactory fun by a man named Chew. During their interrogation, Roy and Leon are directed to a man named J.F. Sebastian. Chew tells them that Sebastian is their best way to meet Tyrell. Sometime Later, Rachael visits Deckard. The reason for her visit is to prove to Deckard that she is human; however, she leaves crying after Deckard informs her that all her memories are fake. Priss meets Sebastian outside his apartment and befriends him. He invites her to stay at his place.
Deckard visits Leon's residence and recognizes one of the other Replicants, Zhora, in a photo of his by using a computer scanner. Based of a scale foudn in Leon's bathroom, Deckard travels to a section of the city where gentically engineered animals are produced. After interrogating a snake dealer, Deckard travels to the strip club Zhora works. A smal struggle ensues between the two followed by a chase through the streets that ends with Deckard retiring Zhora. Shortly after retiring Zhora, Deckard meets with Bryant. Bryant tells deckard to ad Rachael to his list as she has been missing from the Tyrell corporation headquarters. Deckard sees Rachael in a crowd but before he can catch up to her, Leon ambushes and beats him. Before he can kill Deckard, Rachael shoots and kills Leon with Deckard's pistol. Afterward, they go to Deckard's apartment and the two have sex.
Roy returns to Sebastian's Apartment and is met by Priss. He informs her that they are the only two left. Roy bonds with Sebastian after learning he has a genetic disorder that accelerates his aging, sympathizing with him because of their shared fate. Roy uses Sebastian to enter Tyrell's penthouse. Roy demands Tyrell to extend his and Priss' life but Tyrell explains that despite many attempts, it is impossible to extend a replicant's life. Roy then asks for absolution for the "questionable things" he has done. Tyrell, however, dismisses this praising Roy's design and accomplishments; telling Roy to "revel in his time." Roy proceeds to murder Tyrell and Sebastian.
Deckard heads to Sebastian's apartment after learning of his and Tyrell's deaths. On arrival Priss ambushes Deckard. Deckard manages to retire her just before Roy returns. Roy, angered by Priss' death, breaks two of Deckard's fingers and gives him time to run before hunting him. During the hunt, Roy's lifespan starts to fail, starting with his right hand. After regaining control by sticking a nail in his hand. Roy confronts Deckard on the roof. Deckard attemtps to escape by jumping across to the next building only to miss. Before he falls, Roy saves Deckard. As Roy dies, he delievers his famous soliloquy: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe: Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time; like tears in rain. Time to die." From the opposite side of the roof, Gaff metions that it's a shame she won't live. Worried for Rachael, Deckard returns to his apartment only to find her alive. While leaving Deckard finds an Origami unicorn, Gaff's calling card. The film ends with the two entering the elevator.
The City of Los Angeles plays a rather prominent role in the film. Most of the transition shots between locations are coupled with long establishing shots of sections of the city, often interspersed with shots of Deckard as he travels through the city. The film makes limited use of dialogue, taking a very noir approach to the way the action is portrayed. Shadows and limited lighting is employed to essentuate the themes of the movie.
Blade Runner protrays a very different Los Angeles. A steady rain is falling throughout the movie during the outdoor scenes. The reason for this was mostly to hid the fact that it was filmed on a sound stage, but the effect adds to the overall atmosphere of the film. The city is depicted as a run down, overly commercialized dystopia. Building Sized Screens run advertisements against a backdrop of undercared for buildings and slums. A major element of the city is the depiction of extreme cultural assimilation with Asian characters used in signs all over the city and characters speaking numerous languages mid sentence.Beyond the film however, Blade Runner's set designs for 2019 Los Angeles have become a staple of the Cyberpunk Genre. Decaying, Rainy cities featuring a combination Eastern-Western culture has dominated Cyberpunk.
Blade Runner makes use of the anti-hero concept as a way of blurring the lines between characters. Deckard, our protagonist, is a Blade Runner and it is therefore his duty to essentially gun down individuals. On the other hand Roy, the antagonist, simply wants to live. The blurring of motives between the protagonists and antagonists is used to extend the theme about what it means to be human. do the replicants have the right to live?
An extension of the humanity theme in Blade Runner is Replicants that do not know they are replicants. The Tyrell corperation's, the group that creates replicants, motto is "More Human than Human." The defining example of this is the character Racheal. She's a prototype Replicant created with falls memories.
External Links Edit
Blade Runner article at Wikipedia
Blade Runner at the Internet Movie Database