Let’s do this bullet point style:
- The book was better as a whole, but the scene in the apartment complex between Decker and Baty in the movie is the best part of both the movie and the book. Nothing Dick wrote topped it. Leading to…
- I wasn’t sure how I felt about the movie’s casting as a whole (Bryant in particular I didn’t like), but Ford as Decker and Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty were BRILLIANTLY cast. As said, the best scene in the entire Android/Blade Runner franchise is the chase between Decker and Batty in the apartment complex.
- As for the book, it was pretty fascinating but ended on a confusing note. I never really got how mercerism worked. How did they get hit by rocks when they weren’t actually there? And what was Decker’s supposed revelation at the end of the novel?
- This isn’t really a criticism, more like an observation, but I’m not quite sure what Dick’s point was. Did he think Decker was a good guy or a bad guy? Did he think the androids were human or not? Was DECKER a good guy or bad guy? I’m not buying the whole “shades of gray” deal on this one. Either Decker is a murderer or he isn’t, and I don’t know what Dick thinks. I guess that’s the sign of a good writer.
- Unlikeable as the androids are, it seems pretty obvious to me that they’re rational people with free will and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. So whatever Dick or anybody else thought, Decker is a killer.
- Dick’s world-building is awe-inspiring. That alone makes the novel brilliant.
- The movie did a terrific job capturing the vision of the book. Where it failed was pacing. When it was good it was outstanding. When it was bad, it was dull.
- I know there are a billion different versions of “Blade Runner”. I’m pretty sure I saw the theatrical cut, and I get why the director disliked that ending. Ambiguity would have been more effective.
- I really want to emphasize how terrific Rutger Hauer did with his portrayal of Batty. He gave a level of depth to his character achieved by none of the androids in the novel – not even Rachael. His dying speech is, naturally, one of the great scenes in movie history.
Good book, good movie. Read the book first, and enjoy both.