Critics and audiences didn't care for it in 1982, but Ridley Scott's Blade Runner has since risen from cult object to classic of postmodern science fiction. A dystopian view of the future as a decaying, nostalgia-ridden junk culture, it features enormous neon billboards, ad blimps, and soaring Mayan temple-esque skyscrapers, evoking an infernal consumer society divided between those divinely living in the clouds and the multi-cultural exploited masses inhabiting the permanently dank streets. Only the robot "skin job" replicants understand the value of life and freedom. As Deckard's search for the replicants becomes a philosophical rumination on man, machine, and life, Blade Runner's striking production design and visual effects (supervised by FX maestro Douglas Trumbull) underline the cost to humanity of technology-obsessed late capitalism. Blade Runner's increasing stature merited the 10th anniversary release of the "Director's Cut," which rendered the film even more evocatively ambiguous by adding a brief unicorn dream and eliminating the studio-mandated voice-over narration and tacked-on "happy" ending.
by Lucia Bozzola review