Blade Runner

Blade Runner

"Let me tell you about my mother."

Short of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner has to be the most boring science fiction film of all time. Ridley Scott is a no-talent hack, a fact which has been demonstrated extensively by his subsequent output. He's a visual director with no sense of character or narrative, and this film is a classic case of all style and no substance.

Blade Runner gets so much credit for asking "big questions" about what makes us human and how we come to terms with our finite existence, but like everything else in the film this is all on the surface with no depth or complexity. Take the famous "Tears in Rain" soliloquy from Roy Batty: this speech makes explicit what ought to be implicit, and the whole movie operates on this same level. There's a moment where Batty screams at Tyrell, "I want more life!" and this is about as subtle as the film ever gets.

Here's a test for you: try to imagine Deckard outside of the film. What does he do with his free time? Having trouble? That's because he has no character. There's nothing there beyond Harrison Ford's superficial charms. He has no motivation for anything he does. He's simply a blank slate going through the motions of a generic police investigation. And even on that count, the film fails to deliver. The plot is glacially paced and lacking a single ounce of tension.

Blade Runner is one of many films from Dr. Caligari to Inception which tricks its audience into thinking they're smart by asking an unanswerable question. Is Deckard a replicant? Maybe he is and maybe he isn't, but neither answer makes the movie anything more than the tedious, flat, insipid bore that it is.

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