We're only a few months away from a long anticipated sequel to "Blade Runner". As much as I enjoyed the novel from which it was adapted (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for those not in the know) and the film, which covers about a third of the book, I have not been eager to see a sequel. There's a lot of material in the book and it can be hard to get all of a novel into a single movie. We all know that. I accept that. I don't fault the film for that. Even with its flaws, it's still a delight. My problem with it and a sequel predicated on it can be placed squarely at the feet of its director, Ridley Scott.
The decision by Ridley Scott to have Rick Deckerd, our hero of the Blade Runner division, be a replicant is one I've always dismissed as absurd. Scott's clung to it for over thirty years now, but the idea doesn't fit with Dick's book and it certainly doesn't fit with reality. The amount of scrutiny one would have to undergo, which Dick's novel does confirm happens, to become a cop is specifically designed to prevent unsuitable candidates from being hired. Sure, we get unfit hires in all levels of government in the military and law enforcement and their support services, but they're at least human. Remember that "permanent record" they used to threaten you with when you got in trouble at school? Well, it's going to be checked. To cast Deckerd in the role of a replicant is to suggest that the Blade Runner unit is incapable in the most extreme degree of fulfilling its primary functions: detecting and retiring replicants on Earth (as it was made illegal for the synthetic humans to be functioning outside of their manufacturer's facility since a bunch of them went rogue).
Anything more than a superficial examination is enough to out a replicant. Scott's decision to foist that mantle onto Deckard's shoulders never felt like anything more to me than the director's attempt to seem clever, like changing "Watchmen" but creating a weaker resolution in doing so. It certainly doesn't show someone who's read and respected the source material. It certainly doesn't scream of cleverness.
As always, though, I'm willing to field counter-points.