When it comes to movies there are some genres I love and some which I just like and as a rule sci-fi is one that I just like. Maybe because as I child I wasn't a huge reader, maybe it was that I was happy with "Star Wars" and not bothered about any others but very few sci-fi movies have really wowed me. The closest a movie has truly come is "Blade Runner" although not when I first watched it but many years later. It has that almost perfect blend of great visuals, sci-fi elements, memorable characters and a storyline which stands on its own two feet.
In the year 2019 4 replicants have made it to Earth where their presence is forbidden. Former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford - Raiders of the Lost Ark) is forced out of retirement to track down the replicants and retire them. But as he searches for them he finds himself conflicted when he meets Rachael (Sean Young - Stripes) a replicant working in the Tyrell Company who is so human like it is almost impossible to tell her apart.
Now I mentioned that "Blade Runner" has this almost perfect blend of elements and right from the outset it dazzles you with spectacular visuals as we see this future city, lights reflecting in the eye of an observer. If that wasn't powerful enough we have a Vangelis soundtrack to accompany it and it takes it from being just a future world to a moment of beautiful art that mesmerizes you. This continues through out as we are dazzled with wonderful visuals from what the future looks like to the gadgets in a building but it doesn't dominate the movie.
The reason why the visual aspect doesn't dominate "Blade Runner" is because it has a strong enough story to not be over powered. Yet the irony is that it is not by any means complex as we watch Deckard try and track down the 4 replicants and retire them, going on the smallest of clues to find them. But this simple storyline is built upon so it is more than just action; there is depth as we watch Deckard become conflicted when he falls for Rachael. And for those who find the need to over analyze you can examine the whole symbolism of a replicants life span and not knowing when their time will run out.
This storyline whilst solid relies on good performances and there are no shortage of good performances in "Blade Runner". As the lead Harrison Ford is in action hero mode but more than just that because there is restraint as his character becomes conflicted when he falls for Rachael. Talking of which Sean Young is brilliant as Rachael mixing elements of robotic with human in a subtle balancing act so that whilst a mannerism may betray what she is there is elements of human warmth to her. Add to this Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Brion James and all the performances and characters fit in nicely with the story.
What this all boils down to is that "Blade Runner" is for me one of the best sci-fi movies thanks to the balance between elements giving us a great futuristic look and action but also a storyline and characters which all work in harmony. I am sure if I was a sci-fi fan I would be going wild about it but for someone not that fussed by sci-fi it is pretty special.