Class Act: Blade Runner (1982)

Last year the cinema going masses got smart and ate up the brilliantly entertaining yet complex brain-training Inception. It should hopefully see a change in how the studio's see their audience and invest future mega-bucks in more cinematic, large scale, large budget, large brained blockbusters. What better time to look at a film that was also big budgeted and had smarts but was never as lucky as Inception? A film which may have many followers now but on it's original release it's supporters were few and far between

Don't judge Ridley Scott for the mediocre fluff he's made recently, well judge him if you want, but also have pay some respect for he has directed two of the best science fiction's in film history, the terrifying, seminal Alien and of course Blade Runner.

Loosily based on Philip K Dick's mind bending Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Blade Runner is a vision of the future LA 2019, earth is over populated and over polluted, so much so that the rich have fled to other planets. This is a seedy world where robots are used used for business and pleasure. These replicants or skin jobs are very much humanistic with emotions etc. some even have implanted articial memories and are unaware that they are not human. The replicants are strong and smart and so rebel, to stop them getting too powerful they only have a four year lifespan. This is the story of Deckard (Harrison Ford) a Blade Runner, a detective who specialises in hunting these replicants, he's been put on a job hunting down a gang of replicants who have come back to earth to where they were made to find out a way to prolong their lifespan.

What follows is a dark journey into grimey future LA, rain soaked and dirty but cinematically beautiful. The cityscapes are full of large bursts of industrial flame, bright neon adverts and futuristic aircraft, all seamlessly merged together in a impressive, realistic view of the future. The special effects in this film are excellent and could stand up to most recent efforts. As Deckard tracks down and kills the replicants one by one, we see the line between human and humanoid blur, these replicants, feel, cry and bleed, in a way they are more human than the character who is killing them off (although he may not be entirely human himself). This is the film that made science fiction smart again, the genre had scene a revival thanks to Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all of which are classics in their own right but no other science fiction film since 2001: A Space Odyssey made audiences think so much.

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