Blade Runner ★★★

When I watched "Blade Runner" I thought that perhaps I had watched a different movie from the one everybody watched and praised. I watched the final cut - and honestly do not understand the hype over this work. Ridley Scott is undeniably an inconsistent director with great ups and deep downs, but "Blade Runner" stays in the lukewarm middle for me.

The production design and practical effects are obviously lavish and superb and to me the greatest virtue of the movie. Sometimes I would stare at the screen jaw-dropped thinking it's almost impossible that a movie made in 1982 looks and feels so contemporary - everything is meticulously polished, detailed and well-thought, not only in sets, costumes and makeup but the cinematography is engaging as well, with a pleasant camera work. Technically speaking, "Blade Runner" is a feast to the eyes, making even the supercrowded streets of a fictional 2019 Los Angeles look fascinating.

But the biggest flaw of Blade Runner is the screenplay. With a weak plot in which the characters have little to no development, unconvincing motivations and no engaging characteristics whatsoever, it's really hard to root for the lead character, Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. Deckard feels more like a prop than a real character - you actually see no soul inside of him, and - spoilers ahead - that fact that he's possibly a replicant himself doesn't justify the complete lack of development of the character.

Harrison Ford does a decent job but he actually doesn't have much to do besides robotically reciting lines and joining very boring action and fight sequences. The other characters are just as weak and feel unfinished - the other replicants, who were supposed to be Deckard's antagonists, have very little screen time and most of it is dedicated to fights and ridiculously artificial dialogue, not to their proper development. The final fight between Deckard and Roy, a very violent replicant, is as lukewarm as it gets, because it's impossible to feel anything when you watch a confrontation between two soulless, unmotivated characters.

The final scene with the origami unicorn is Ridley Scott's attempt to outsmart the audience and try to give a clever tone to a screenplay that, until that very moment, sounded dumb and amateurish. I suspect Blade Runner was given cult status because I understand it's very easy to be captured by the dynamic action scenes and the jaw-dropping production design, and, during this thrilling visual journey, conclude it's a great movie, because it distracts you from paying attention to the poor screenplay and the mechanic dialogue. Unfortunately, a closer look shows it's an aesthetically flawless work with little to no substance.

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