Film Advent Calendar: The intricate sci-fi unverse of Blade Runner

  • Stunning visuals make film intensely watchable
  • One of the most incredible achievements in filmmaking
  • December 19th on NQ editor Matt Hartless's advent calendar of films you should watch this Christmas

I did not like Blade Runner the first time I saw it, because I didn’t get it, and couldn’t stand its slow pace.

Once I knew the vague outlines of the story, I found I could navigate the universe far better and notice a lot of things I had previously missed.

Scene from Blade Runner
Harrison Ford and Edward James Olmos in Blade Runner. Credit: Warner Bros

Blade Runner is a 1982 sci-fi film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Sean Young and Rutger Hauer.

In Blade Runner, humanity has created androids called replicants, to mainly do missions in space that would be hazardous to humans. Some replicants go rogue, however and return to Earth, beginning to develop emotions. It is the responsibility of Blade Runners like Rick Deckard (Ford) to retire (kill) these rogue replicants. The film follows Deckard and questions the sense of humanity of him and everyone around him and what it really means to be human.

When the final cut of this film was released, I already loved the film, and was able to watch it in the cinema. The opening sequence with the futuristic Los Angeles skyline and the music by Vangelis was incredible to watch on a big screen and this film deservedly has the title of one of the most beautiful films ever made without CGI.

Scene from Blade Runner
The visuals in Blade Runner are stunning. Credit: Warner Bros

Thematically, the film is quite punchy; philosophising on the meaning of life and how you define sentience in practically every scene. Eyes play a big part in the film. The eyes of all of the artificial characters have a glassy glaze to them, but this doesn’t make them suspicious, rather the film gets you to question what they’re thinking about.

The acting is above par too. You can really feel Deckard’s regret every time he retires a replicant and Rutger Hauer’s ‘tears in the rain’ speech is one of the best moments in cinema.

I won’t say too much more as I find it’s a film that needs to be experienced rather than described to someone.

So if you feel like watching a sci-fi epic, with eye-watering visuals, incredible acting and one of the best scores put to film, Blade Runner is a film you should watch this Christmas.

This article is part of the Film Advent Calendar series, where NQ editor Matt Hartless shares some of his favourite films in 24 different genres that you should watch if you need something to fill your time over the Christmas break.

Scene from Blade Runner
Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner. Credit: Warner Bros