Wednesday, March 05, 2008
For the first time in about twenty years, we settled down and watched Blade Runner, and were reminded of why this movie remains such a classic. It's not the acting or special effects, but the fact that this science fiction movie explores the question of what it means to be human.
Ridley Scott's film expands on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick, and it's been too long since I read it to say how faithful the movie is, but the moral dilemmas are very well presented. Philip Dick had an uncanny way of being prescient, and the idea that scientists could create replicants (or androids), give them human memories, let them live long enough to develop attachments and emotions-- and then decide that it's time to "retire" them--is a looming moral dilemma in a society that depends more and more on artificial intelligence. This movie also shows a future Los Angeles in an economically possible light. Dick wrote this in 1966.
This movie was very much worth a re-spin. Ironically, I think the best acting was done by the replicant characters, and I do not think that was intentional. Nothing against Harrison Ford, of course.