review for Blade Runner on AllMovie

Blade Runner (1982)
by Lucia Bozzola review

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.