Movie Plot – Blade Runner: Four replicants made it back to earth, and one blade runner is assigned to stop them.

Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer

The atmosphere in Blade Runner

The film takes place in the future on earth in November 2019; for us that is no longer a future, but already a past. And it looks totally different.

Ridley Scott shot Blade Runner in the typical style of film noir (from the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s). Films in this style were usually shot in black and white. Furthermore, the storyline was often characterized by doomed heroes/antiheroes, cynical cops or detectives, and supersexy females. Blade Runner also contains these characteristics. The film’s style is called neo noir, to distinguish it from the approximately 40 years older style film noir. To emphasize the film’s dark nature, all scenes are shot in the evening and at night and take place outside almost constantly in the rain – emphasizing the gloominess, grubbiness and hopelessness of urban life. The atmoshphere is simply fantastic in Blade Runner. A great feast for the eyes.

And yes, I’ve done some research. For some movies, I have to do some to understand why exactly it is a cult film. Blade Runner is a great film, but I also got confused by why it was praised so much when I was watching it. Am I even liking this? Therefore, I decided to inform myself about it. It’s also one of these movies you have to watch multiple times to truly appreciate it.

It took quite a bit of work before there was a film. The gloomy story of Blade Runner initially frightened financiers. When moneylenders (including Warner Bros.) finally came in sight, the film could go into production on a small budget. Director and cast were recruited and they started with the sets.

Ridley Scott

Director Ridley Scott (at the time mainly known for Alien) was known for being – besides being a phenomenal director – also a perfectionist and always using a lot of film; sometimes as many as 35 takes of 1 scene. Because of this, the shots lasted longer than planned and the budget was also greatly exceeded. Because of this, the moneylenders started to interfere intensively with the shots, which didn’t benefit the atmosphere.

It is known, for example, that the protagonist Harrison Ford had a bad time during the shootings; apart from his own scenes, he barely showed up on set. However, that reluctance made it very easy for him to portray the character of a Rick Deckard who didn’t feel at home anywhere. Ford also had trouble with the ‘voice over’ (later demanded by Warner Bros), but his contract forced him to speak the lyrics.

Again, the visuals are very stunning. There is so much detail that you have to do multiple viewings to see the total image. It is also one of the strongest points of this movie. I also have to say that the visuals have been reworked in a good way. No useless CGI was added like Star Wars: A New Hope. Previously, the images were reworked to refine details and dialogues.

The Replicants

The film shows a dark Los Angeles in November 2019. Advanced technology has, among other things, produced the perfect robot. The genetically engineered organic robots, or rather androids, are so well made in humans’ image that they are indistinguishable from them. The androids are called replicants and are the products of the supreme Tyrell Corporation. After a few incidents in the past with replicants operating on their own authority, they are now banned on earth. Since then, the replicants are only used on extraterrestrial colonies for heavy, dangerous or mind-numbing work or as an object of pleasure. Replicants who defy the ban and yet return to earth are hunted down and shot by the police’s special units. The officers of these special units are called ‘Blade Runners’, shooting a replicant is called ‘retirement’.

The plot starts with the illegal return to earth of 6 intelligent replicants of the most advanced series NEXUS6.

In an attempt to invade the Tyrell Corporation, 2 of them died. To find and ‘retire’ the remaining 4 – Roy Batty, Pris Stratton, Zhora Salome and Leon Kowalski – ex-Blade Runner Rick Deckard is called in. Deckard had previously resigned from the police with a burnout, but is now more or less forced to go hunting again.

On his visit to Dr. Tyrell, scientist and founder of the Tyrell Corporation, Deckard meets his beautiful assistant Rachael and falls in love with her.
However, she is a prototype replicant illegally kept on earth by Tyrell who doesn’t know she is a replicant. Deckard searches for the fugitives, but constantly wonders what motive these very intelligent and very strong replicants have to return to earth and thus risk their elimination.

The conflict

The story is in itself understandable, but still a misconception. In the gloomy, rainy streets, Ford blends seamlessly into the anonymous surroundings of the gigantic city. As an inconspicuous citizen, he forms a perfect counterpart to the explosive Batty, who immediately attracts attention when he appears on the screen.

It’s hard not to feel any sympathy for the replicants, especially since the motives for their actions are so understandable. Which man doesn’t want to live any longer? These sentiments are poetically beautifully summarized in Hauer’s partly improvised final monologue, in which the replicant looks back with his last breath on the miracles he has experienced.

The romance between Decker and Rachael didn’t sell me. However, I was more okay with it as the rest is full of details. There is also high speculation that Decker itself is a Replicant. There are certain clues for this, such as his memories with a white unicorn. This is something that didn’t barge in while I was watching, but rather when I was doing my research.

Conclusion

Blade Runner is a question of yes or no, not of maybe: either you snapped at the surprising philosophical undertone (what makes a human being a human being), that the film has a slower pace that you would expect from apocalyptic sci-fi, or you let yourself go from the first moment.