Blade Runner

Blade Runner ★★★★★

(Final Cut)

I really enjoyed this, but I don't know if I can properly explain why. It is incredibly impressive in terms of visuals and production design, which I think makes its meandering nature tolerable. I find its vision of dystopia to be uniquely American. Instead of a tyrannical government handing down constant oppression to its citizens, the choices of people and corporations have reduced Earth to one giant cyberslum that creates and disposes of life with little impunity. It's a dystopia created, not imposed. The very nature of replicants is kind of a post-scarcity nightmare: humans have become so good and creating artificial life that these miraculous inventions have become a problem, and must be disposed of. There's no insidious conspiracy, no corrupt class holding onto power (well there kind of is, but that's not the focus), just a slow creep towards societal and environmental degradation that's the natural outcome of the pursuit of profit and those who it leaves behind. The apocalypse doesn't come in one cataclysmic event, but buy the collective frogs of the human race sitting in a pot that gets hotter and hotter until it becomes boiling, causing them to abandon their overgrown civilization for a new world where they can feel ok about slavery again. Call it environmental neo-noir: rather than a modern world that slowly eats away at the morals of its characters, it's the scientific advances of the future that does them in. Add to that a fantastic score, a brilliant performance from Rutger Hauer and exquisite lighting and you get one of the most stunning sci-fi films of all time.