I had planned to post my problems with the movie Blade Runner after I saw it yesterday but didn't get a chance to and, as a result, much of what I wanted to say was already included in Anne's post. However, instead of just commenting to her post, I thought I would include my thoughts here, even if they are repeated. The difference is in tone because, while Anne mentioned she hates movies that are poor adaptions to a book, I just plain out hated this movie as a film. I will begin with reasons based off of the reading and how it effected my viewing experience and then continue to why I hated the movie even if I hadn't read the book.
This movie was "inspired by" the Philip K. Novel, which is another way of saying that the filmmakers took the general idea but tried to "vamp it up" with all the sci-fi cliches and action scenes, which I will complain about later in this blog. Where was the depth? First, I need to say that the films portrayal of Rick Deckard was a horrible re-imagining of the character in the book. I don't know if it was the script or Harrison Ford's performance (why, Han Solo, why? Just kidding. I hate Star Wars. Probably shouldn't have printed that.) Either way, I didn't care at all about the character. Seriously, where is the inner conflict? Where is the questioning of humanity? The film did a horrible job in expressing this controversy of what determines life that is found in the book; Rachael does question if Deckard is an android and if he ever killed an human by mistake, but it is only thrown out without any implications, like it is merely obligatory. Worse is how they made the androids so human in there emotion and even have empathy (or at least remorse, as evidenced by the scene where Roy kisses the dead body of Priss, more on that later). The problem with this is that, if the androids have empathy, wouldn't the question of humanity be more important instead of barely even be mentioned? The film's fault was that it chose to focus way too much on the replicants lifespan and not enough on the question of life.
There are self indications of the flatness of Rick in the movie as compared to the book. One is that he is coming out of retirement but I never actually understood why, and his lack of hesitation in returning demonstrates that the issue could not have been that deep. He kills without regard for his actions, never seeming to care (even Luna Luft is portrayed as a lower former of entertainment, which would obviously make her "retirement" a lot less significant). In the book, his decision to have sex with Rachael was portrayed as being an action that could get him in trouble and therefore was more of a conflict, but in the movie he just grabs her and forces himself on her. It seemed more like he was raping her, since she did not seem to pleased, and that created the impression in my mind that she was just some kind of slave that did whatever the man wanted. In other words, she was merely an object to give him pleasure. Since he was married, anyways, the action did really show any dangerous implications and, therefore, he lacked some of the inner turmoil that the book portrayed (a.k.a depth)
There are many other things that bothered me but I won't go into too much depth regarding these. I will say that removing Mercer and the empathy box was a major drawback and that changing the name of Isidore and the Rosen Corporation was completely unnecessary. And, like Anne mentioned, why was the animals basically removed? Why was the world so intact? It didn't look like a war had occurred. The answer, in my opinion, is not that they didn't have time, but rather they filled that time with cliches and "roll your eye moments" and substituted depth for mindless action.
This brings me to my problem with the film itself. Most of it was completely mindless and it got really boring after a while. Not to mention all of the extremely horrible dialogue and corny scenes that were filled with cliches. There were many moments where I thought the script needed a revision, and while I can't cite examples of the dialogue problems, I definitely would ntice it if I watched it again ("Wake up, it's time to die." Come on!) The climatic scene at the end was just so typical of hollywood, having to end it with a final battle (oh and having it on the roof where he hangs off the edge staring at death? That's original) Furthermore, how did he hang on so well after breaking his fingers? He sure didn't seem to be in too much pain as he was hanging on to the edge and climbing the side of the building with relative ease. The romantic scenes were completely pointless and not even built up to (Roy meets J.R. and Priss and then just kisses right in front of him, Rick basically rapes Rachael) The scene where Roy was counting to give Rick some more time and then stops to kiss Priss' dead corpse was definitely a "roll your eye moment" for me. I know that this movie is relatively old, but the cliches were around before then. They really don't have much of an excuse. All they do is take all the depth of the book away to create a more "entertaining" action flick, but movies with great action and little depth are not the type of films I enjoy. I wanted to leave halfway through and was constantly glancing at the clock. I hated this film.
I will say that I did appreciate the scene where we actually see Rick act as a detective. I would have enjoyed more if it had more of a mystery approach. This is the reason why I consider Minority Report one of the best Sci-fi films. It combined a brilliant look at the future with a interesting mystery that included plot twists that I liked and was actually surprised by. Movies with tension and mystery are much more interesting to me that mindless action. Sure, Minority Report had cliches, but I enjoyed how the movie seemed to be a good mystery set in the future instead of cliched action thriller based off a good story. When I watched Minority Report, I was made interested in reading Dick's story, but I doubt such interest would come from viewing the movie Blade Runner.
I am sorry for my exhaustive analysis but I hope you better understand my disdain for this movie and why I feel that way. You might not agree with me, but it is an opinion. And, as you probably noticed, my opinion is very strong.