Blade Runner ★★

''All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.'' - Roy Batty.

Original cut this time, with voice-over. Not quite as sleep-inducing as the first time I saw it, I guess because I was acquainted with the storyline and the sluggish pacing this time 'round, but there's still very little I like about this movie -- the actual story included; I do think it's interesting thematically, about what it really means to be human; the source material does come from one of the greatest science fiction writers after all...it's the presentation I dislike.

The acting ranges from mediocre to barely passable. Harrison Ford, who is usually a very charismatic actor in his action/adventure/thriller films, doesn't carry this thing at all, in my opinion. I just don't care about his character here, and I feel that's because his exciting screen persona is jarringly mismatched with the film's dead-weight look & tone [maybe this isn't a a valid piece of criticism, but Ford plays a very complex character, one which at some point we are supposed to question if he's real or a replicant, and the guy just doesn't have the chops to play him with the depth required. Ford is very likeable and at his best when looking gruffed up and when something huge is at stake; he's an all time great action-star, the box-office numbers testify to this, which is probably the monetary - and sole - reason why he was miscast in the lead: for his Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark successes]. And in this version he does a voice-over which was especially flat/irritating. Ford once even quoted: "Blade Runner is not one of my favorite films. I tangled with Ridley." Rutger Hauer has the film's best performance as Roy Batty, maybe the only good one; he creates a supremely watchable intimidating screen presence, and he gets extra credit for improvising the above quote, which has become one of my all time favourite lines. Just wish he had more screen time!

The music; jazzy and atmospheric, does add to the noirish feel of the film, but also to the overall lethargy in some scenes. Ridley Scott's direction... is uninspiring, I admired nothing. His pacing/storytelling is piss-poor. The set decoration and bleak visuals are obviously the best features of the movie; we do see the [always rainy] foreboding dystopian world of 2019 come roaring to life and it is absolutely scrumptious for the eyes (still, a bit dated).

A highly influential movie it may be, I think I can see how it impacted some other noir-y sci-fi films I've seen like ''Dark City'' and ''Total Recall'' (although these are all supposed to be children of ''Metropolis,'' right?), and even the great Philip K. Dick showered this adaptation of his novel with praise, but it's quite simply not my cup of tea. It may very well cure insomnia someday. Unbearable to watch!

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