Ridley Scott, 1982
Although I wasn’t overly enamored by the story of the film, the setting and aesthetic of what was to become known as cyberpunk is far beyond amazing. I’m probably a bit biased as I’ve been a massive cyberpunk junkie for years, but it was refreshing to see what really inspired this movement in film going forward.
The lighting, color palette, neon, and general darker undertones of a dystopian cityscape are crafted to perfection and I’ve yet to come across another artistic representation of the cyberpunk genre (perhaps apart from cyberpunk 2077) that really encapsulates a mood or vibe of melancholy in its purest form. The music is also fantastic as it really plays on the cyberpunk aesthetic and the general array of characters really challenges what it means to be in a universe like Blade Runner.
As I previously said the movie doesn’t quite work for me based on its story and I found it quite slow and repetitive at times. Character development was lacking and the general climatic points of the film didn’t have much impact (probably because of this). The only exception was the final chase/fight scene between Rick and Roy – that was epic.
That being said, I love the way the story tries to stay true to ‘real life, in that there’s no inherently overpowered or epic hero in the story. Harrison Ford’s character is clearly flawed and it was refreshing to see him play a role where he was actually scared, weak, and defeated. The same goes for the villains of the film who all although have immense power, due to their robotic nature, are portrayed as nothing more than human which is a poignant message regarding what it means to be human and is more than relevant today in a world where AI is on the rise.