Thomas Barrett finds Blade Runner dull and horribleFirst off, I’m not that much of a sci-fi fan. Shiny lasers and bizarre costumes are all well and good – in moderation. But, being open minded and all that, I was chuffed when I got Blade Runner for Christmas. I mean, everyone’s heard of that, haven’t they? And everyone loves it lots. I’m assuming that’s because they’ve never actually seen it.For those who have so far managed to get through life without seeing Blade Runner, the plot centres on Harrison Ford, who is a detective hunting a wayward gang of replicants: biologically-engineered machines which look human but actually aren’t. Or are they? And that’s the whole central question of the film – what is it to be human? This is certainly an interesting question, especially so when we meet a replicant which thinks she is human, due to memories implanted in her head by her creator. But really, it’s hard to care, simply because the film is just so damn dull.Admittedly, it picks up towards the end and even has a rather dramatic fight, but that’s a poor reward for making it that far. Up until then the film moves at a snail’s pace, all arty lighting and atmospheric shots. It looks nice, but I like films to have something engaging going on. There’re only so many times you can think ‘oooo, that looks pretty’ before the novelty wears off. And then there’s the soundtrack. It is one of the worst I’ve ever heard. Horrible, horrible, synthesisers and a cheesy sax. Just no. The fact that the soundtrack is frequently held up as one of the best things about Blade Runner should tell you all you need to know.If I liked sci-fi I’d probably enjoy the movie more, but as it is I just get more pissed off. All the typical clichés make an appearance. For example, in sci-fi films, why are there always lots of Asian scripts written all over the cities? Is this to demonstrate the effects of globalisation, or, more likely, to present some kind of geek utopia where their unhealthy obsession with Japan is finally rewarded? Add in the crappy flying cars, silly computer systems (I know the film’s old, but I half expected Pong to appear on the screens) and bizarre cityscapes, and you have some kind of bizarre near parody of a sci-fi film. Blade Runner is a bit of a trend-setter for sci-fi films, so I really can’t blame it for being shamelessly ripped off by others. Instead I’ll blame it for inflicting all these horrible stock features on the innocent world of cinema. Just another reason to dislike it, really.