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Comparison of Blade Runner and Frankenstein

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Dutch actor Rutger Hauer celebrated his 70th birthday two weeks ago, on January 23rd, which makes me feel very old indeed. When a figure who seemed only yesterday to be the embodiment of swaggering, superhuman indestructibility – thanks to turns in movies like Blade Runner and The Hitcher – becomes a septuagenarian, you realise you must be advancing significantly in years yourself.

Frankenstein And Bladerunner Free Essays - StudyMode

Frankenstein and Bladerunner Essay - 558 Words

Inevitably, Hollywood – always on the lookout for European actors to play psychotic scumbag terrorists who speak sinister non-American-accented English – recruited Hauer in 1981 to play the baddie in the Sylvester Stallone action-thriller Nighthawks. I’m no fan of Stallone and his monosyllabic, humour-free acting style, but I quite like this movie thanks to its excellent supporting cast, which in addition to Hauer has Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Indian actress Persis Khambatta and distinguished English actor Nigel Davenport, who unfortunately passed away late last year. But Hauer’s performance in Nighthawks would be overshadowed by the work he did in his next Hollywood film That was Ridley Scott’s science fiction epic Blade Runner, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, in which Hauer played Roy Batty, leader of the replicants – artificially-engineered and super-strong humanoids to you and me.

With Blade Runner, unfortunately, Hauer had already hit his peak. Whatever he did afterwards, no matter how good it was, couldn’t help but be slightly anti-climactic. But he certainly got some decent roles over the next few years. In 1983 he appeared with Gene Hackman, Theresa Russell, Mickey Rourke and Joe Pesci in Eureka, directed by the legendary Nicholas Roeg. Dismissed at the time as the weakest of Roeg’s movies, Eureka has more lately been reappraised, positively – Danny Boyle, for instance, has championed it.

Frankenstein & Blade Runner Comparative Analysis - …

Compare And Contrast Frankenstein And Blade Runner

The following year, Hauer got his second-most memorable role, as the title character in the horror movie The Hitcher. Wearing a long dark coat and with a Nietzschean gleam in his eye, he plays a mysterious hitchhiking psychopath who stalks the near-empty highways of the American desert and butchers anyone hapless enough to stop and offer him a ride. C. Thomas Howell picks him up early on the film and isn’t too happy when Hauer starts reminiscing about the previous driver to have given him a lift: “…I cut off his legs… and his arms… and his head. And I’m going to do the same to you.” Howell manages to outwit him, but then finds himself embroiled in a desperate cat-and-mouse game with the dark-clad monster.

More often, though, a film adaptation of a book is successful not because it manages to be better than the book – but because it uses the book as a starting point and then goes off and does something different. The cinematic result isn’t necessarily better than the book, but it works in its own right. A classic example of this is Ridley Scott’s transformation of Philip K. Dick’s eccentric, mind-screwing novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep into the 1982 movie Blade Runner, which uses Dick’s basic story to create a new cinematic aesthetic with the use of astonishing set-design, cinematography and special effects.

Frankenstein and Bladerunner Essay Examples
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Page 2 Frankenstein and Bladerunner Essay

Blade Runner is a movie that’s difficult to talk about objectively these days. When it first appeared, many critics disliked it – in Britain, the only newspaper critic I remember taking it seriously was the Observer’s Philip French. It didn’t do much at the box office either, probably because 1982 cinema audiences, like those two ladies in Glasgow, wanted comfortable, feel-good science-fiction movies such as the same year’s ET and the second Star Trek movie. Yet it’s proved massively influential. Its depiction of a future Los Angeles as a dystopian, rain-drenched monster-metropolis, flavoured with the aesthetics of 1940s film-noir and of modern Tokyo, seems to have turned up again and again in a thousand science-fiction movies and rock videos made in the years since.

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