Blade Runner Parent Guide
One of the best science movies ever made...
Parent Movie Review
In the far-off year of…um, 2019, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) has been tasked with hunting down four replicants, androids nearly indistinguishable from humans, who have killed several humans and escaped into Los Angeles. Led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the replicants are eager to extend their short four-year lifespans by any means necessary. Deckard will be hard pressed to find and “retire” them before anyone else is hurt, and in the process, will be asked some crucial questions about who he considers to be human.
Blade Runner is a classic of science fiction for a reason. The plot is compelling and thought-provoking, but it’s the aesthetic qualities of this film that draw people back. Deckard prowls the gloomy, rain soaked and neon splattered streets of Los Angeles, circa 2019. The city is dark and choked with fogs and mists, along with a general miasma of depression and loneliness. The brightly colored advertisements that permeate the smoke do little to brighten the films tone: To the contrary, they reinforce through contrast the otherwise drab and miserable nature of this distant future.
Deckard is a deeply flawed character, one prone to drowning his melancholy with alcohol, but his involvement in the manhunt is involuntary from the start, making him a sympathetic protagonist. His job is dangerous, thankless, and unpleasant, and he drinks to cope with the stress. Worse, the job has forced him to confront the moral quagmire which coats humanity’s use of replicants as off-world slave labor, despite their human appearance and intelligence. With all that weighing him down, it is unsurprising that Deckard is such a perfect neo-noir detective, full of angst and with nowhere to run to.
This is not suitable as a family film, owing mostly to the violence and brief nudity, but older teenagers and adults with an interest in big questions should absolutely see it. Although the story occasionally takes a backseat to the breathtaking cinematography and soundtrack, or to the dazzling special effects shots, what does come through is poignant and increasingly relevant as breakthroughs continue in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. Even then, led by talent like Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, the simple plot is easily traceable through the occasionally dense filmmaking and complex morality. And at the end, through all that, Blade Runner is varyingly, slow, dark, philosophically difficult, and a superb example of science fiction.Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release June 25, 1982. Updated October 2, 2020
Watch the trailer for Blade Runner
Rating & Content Info
Why is Blade Runner rated R? Blade Runner is rated R by the MPAA for violence.
Violence: Over the course of the film, three individuals are shot and killed. Some lab-created eyeballs are shown. Two fistfights occur in which the combatants are bruised and bloodied but not seriously hurt. An individual has their fingers broken. Someone deliberately drives a nail into their own hand. A person is struck repeatedly with a steel pipe. An individual has their eyes gouged out and their skull crushed.
Sexual Content: There is a scene in a strip club in which several dancers are shown in bikini-type clothing. A woman is shown topless in a changing room. There is implied sexual activity.
Profanity: There are two uses of mild profanity and one use of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Deckard is frequently shown drinking on his own. Several other characters are shown drinking in bar scenes. Several characters are shown smoking cigarettes or pipes.
Page last updated October 2, 2020
Blade Runner Parents' Guide
A central question of the film is (spoiler alert) whether or not Deckard himself is a replicant. What do you think? Does it ultimately matter? What would you say is the difference between humans and replicants that allows replicants to be used as slave labor?
Imagine if our society managed to create such convincing artificial life. How do you think the world would react? Would they be entitled to human rights?
News About "Blade Runner"
When Blade Runner opened in theaters on June 25, 1982, it was not met with enthusiastic reviews. Costing $30 million dollars to make, and taking in only $26 million at the box office, it was considered a financial failure too.
Despite that lackluster introduction, the film was nominated for two Oscars, Art direction (Lawrence G. Paull, David L. Snyder, with set decoration by Linda DeScenna) and Visual Effects (the visionary Trumbull, Richard Yuricich, David Dryer), although it didn't win either. With the passage of a bit more time, the under-appreciated production managed to acquired a cult following too.
Apparently, director Ridley Scott was never entirely happy with the final theatrical version himself. A Director’s Cut was released in 1992, (but Scott was still not happy), an Expanded International Cut followed, and in 2007 (the movie's 25th anniversary) it released to home video as “the Final Cut”.
The original script was based on a novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Unfortunately, the author never got a chance to weigh in on the movie adaption because he passed away three months before the film opened 1982.
The most recent home video release of Blade Runner movie is December 18, 2007. Here are some details…Home Video Notes:: Blade Runner (Complete Collector's Edition)
Release Date: December 18th, 2007
Blade Runner releases to home video (Blu-ray) with the following bonus extras:
- Blade Runner: The Final Cut version
- Dangerous Days (documentary)
- Blade Runner (1982 domestic and international versions)
- Blade Runner (1992 Director's Cut3)
- Enhancement Archive," (featurettes, deleted scene, etc.)
- Blade Runner: Workprint Version
Related home video titles:
Alien, another Ridley Scott film, was released in 1979 and explores a more isolated group of people put up against an inhuman adversary.
Star Trek: Nemesis explores similar questions about Data and his humanity and wades into the ethical quagmire of cloning.
I, Robot, based on an Isaac Asimov novel of the same name (and wildly differing plot) explores prejudice against near-human androids in the distant future.
The documentary Coded Bias examines how the human attitudes of programmers affect computers, artificial intelligence, and machine learning by providing flawed data sets and parameters.