Ridley Scott’s reported $30 million picture is a stylistically dazzling film noir set in November 2019 in a brilliantly imagined Los Angeles marked by both technological wonders and horrendous squalor.
Basic premise taken from a novel [Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep] by Philip K. Dick provides a strong dramatic hook – replicants, robots designed to supply ‘Off-World’ slave labor, are outlawed on earth. But a few of them have infiltrated LA, and retired enforcer Harrison Ford is recruited to eliminate them before they can do any damage.
One of them, beautiful Sean Young, is an advanced model with implanted memories so ‘real’ that even she doesn’t know she’s a replicant until she’s tested by Ford.
Unfortunately, Young disappears for long stretches at a time, and at others Ford merely sits morosely around his apartment staring at photographs, which slows up the action.
Dramatically, film is virtually taken over at the midway point by top replicant Rutger Hauer. After destroying his creator, the massive, albino-looking Hauer takes off after Ford, and the villain here is so intriguing and charismatic that one almost comes to prefer him to the more stolid hero.
[In 1992, Scott’s original cut, sans Ford’s voiceover and final flying sequence, was released. This 117-min. version was billed on posters, but not on prints, as The Directorector’s Cut.]
1982: Nominations: Best Art Direction, Visual Effects