Scenes I Go Back To: Blade Runner

It’s easy to see why Scott would consider Blade Runner to be his most complete film.

It may have been made in 1982, but chances are, Blade Runner will still feel as futuristic and prescient in 2182 as it did back then, and does today. Unlike so many “sci-fi” films, which place their emphasis on massive FX budgets, Blade Runner’s greatness comes from the story and the ideas that it tackles (though it does have stunning effects as well). Ideas of existence and humanity, and how those things are defined — if they can be defined at all.

Blade Runner is a film that is easy to dissect for meaning and subtext, almost too much so it seems. But perhaps that was Ridley Scott’s intent. His brother Frank had died shortly before the film was made, and so maybe this was his way of coping with it and the inevitable questions that such a loss raises. That seems incredibly likely, given this last scene, in which Roy Batty gives his last will and testament — one full of glorious images, suprisingly poignant thoughts, and graceful acceptance — to a shocked and bewildered Rick Deckard.

Some of the imagery might seem heavy-handed: the dove ascending into the only sunny sky we see in the film, Roy’s nail-pierced hand saving Deckard from his fall. It would certainly be heavy-handed in a lesser film. But in Blade Runner, they have a spiritual and mythic tone, adding to the film’s ageless feel. It’s easy to see why Scott would consider Blade Runner to be his most complete film — which considering the man’s body of work, is truly saying something.

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