(out of 5)
Here it is, the Citizen Kane of science-fiction films (I think of 2001: A Space Odyssey as the Gone With The Wind of science-fiction films). Harrison Ford is appropriately dour as a private detective in Ridley Scott’s futuristic film noir, a determined professional who scours the restless, grimy city in search of replicants (android robots) and terminates their illegal, artificial lives. Now about to enjoy retirement, Ford is pulled back into the field when a group of androids escape their off-world colony and come to Earth in search of their maker. Ford’s job is to destroy them before they wreak havoc on the planet, but saying it is one thing and doing it another (the scene where he runs Joanna Cassidy down is one of the best chases in film history). The film has a long, convoluted history with audiences, as its original release was hampered by a studio-enforced happy ending and terribly awkward narration by Ford over the soundtrack. In more recent years, Scott went back and re-edited the film his way, providing for an experience that while not particularly exciting, is almost religiously smooth in its dark beauty. Watching it is aesthetically pleasing as well as intellectually stimulating; in two brief hours you enjoy some nifty visual effects and stunning production design, plus contemplate what exactly it is that makes us human and what drives us to love our lives so much. Based on the Philip K. Dick story Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
Directed by Ridley Scott
Cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth
Produced by Michael Deeley
Music by Vangelis
Production Design by Lawrence G. Paull