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Blade Runner

Blade Runner is an influential 1982 cyberpunk film directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, adapted from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The film features Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah and Joanna Cassidy.

The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically manufactured beings called replicants, physically identical to adult humans, are used for dangerous and degrading work in Earth’s “off-world colonies.” After replicants became illegal on Earth, specialist police units – blade runners – were trained to hunt down and “retire” (kill) escaped replicants on Earth. The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of replicants hiding in Los Angeles and a semi-retired blade runner, Rick Deckard (Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment.

Blade Runner initially polarized critics; some were displeased with the pacing, while others enjoyed its thematic complexity. The film performed poorly in North American theaters but achieved success overseas. Despite poor early ticket sales, it has since become a cult classic. Blade Runner has been hailed for its production design, one said to depict a “retrofitted future”. The film is credited with prefiguring important concerns of the 21st century, such as globalization and genetic engineering. It remains a leading example of cyberpunk and neo-noir. Blade Runner brought author Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood and several films have since been made from his writings. Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as his “most complete and personal film.”

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