There was only one condition for my viewing of Blade Runner, and that was that I watch it with my dad. For ten years or more, he’s hailed it as his favourite film. Now, after my first viewing in a decade, I am able to appreciate its undeniable beauty – even if the philosophical elements are still lost on me.
I loved Blade Runner as it rattled through its concepts – life and death, creator and creation, the far-reaching hand of humanity. But as it came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel that for all its big ideas, Blade Runner delivered very few of them in anything more than layman detail.
This isn’t Ridley Scott’s finest film. Alien was an exercise in building tension. Gladiator was an action epic. Blade Runner tries to shoehorn a little too much in. It touches upon so much, that it’s almost too much – the philosophy, the setting, the characters… Instead of stopping at near-perfect sci-fi vision (which it damn well is), it ventures into esoteric philosophy, not leaving itself enough time to go any deeper.
Of course, there are enough individually-perfect parts of Blade Runner to atone. Daryl Hannah is incredible, as is Rutger Hauer. Every frame is a fluorescent masterpiece. The setting is rich – a character in itself. It makes up for a philosophical journey that just seemed deflated to me. Or maybe I just didn’t “get” it.
Note: I watched Blade Runner: The Final Cut for this one, not the original theatrical version or director’s cut. Naughty naughty.