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Monday
Jun252012

Monologue Monday: "Time To Die"

Today marked the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner, one of the most influential movies of all time. The last time I saw the picture was  5 years ago for its restored 25th anniversary . T'was quite a mindfuck to see a movie so clearly 80s looking like it just came from the lab. For the anniversary I thought I'd share this previous article on Roy Batty's famous final monologue...

Blade Runner's perfect opening shot. Human but abstract

I've lost track of the times I've seen people steal from it, particularly in the art direction/ production design world (the world that spawned auteur Ridley Scott, don'cha know?). Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the leader of a freethinking band of androids known as "replicants" is the best character in the movie. He's scary yet soulful and sympathetic... like a 21st century Frankenstein monster. [More after the jump]

His last line in the film is very famous but before that, and throughout this final battle, he's the only one that talks. Hauer crafts an iconic villain throughout the course of the movie providing yet another reminder that great performances can be given in any genre of film, no matter how rarely those types of star turns garner statuettes of any sort (I'd rank this performance piece above most of the Oscar nominees that year).

 

Despite the frequent narration in Blade Runner by Deckard (Harrison Ford), the "hero" -- or anti-hero depending on how you view it -- he isn't much of a gabber. The replicants do most of the gabbing. In this penultimate scene Deckard only grunts and screams while Roy Batty chatters away. I've lifted the dialogue from this online script but I don't have the movie handy so, it could differ from the actual spoken dialogue a bit. Page to screen transfers being so unpredictable and all. 

Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent. I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the good man? Come on Deckard. Show me what you're made of. Proud of yourself, little man? This is for Zhora. This is for Pris.

Come on, Deckard, I'm right here, but you've got to shoot straight.

Deckard misses on account of his hand being kinda crushed by Batty. That'll throw off your aim any day. Batty is just cruelly taunting him.

Straight doesn't seem to be good enough. Now it's my turn. I'm gonna give you a few seconds before I come. One, Two. Three, Four. -- Pris... [Roy begins howling like a wolf]

[sing-song ♫] I'm coming. -- Four, five. How to stay alive. I can see you! Not yet. Not... [puts spike through his hand, screaming]

Deckard-- Yes... [puts head through wall.] You better get it up, or I'm gonna have to kill ya! Unless you're alive, you can't play, and if you don't play

... Six, seven. Go to hell, go to heaven ♩.

I had completely forgotten that Catwoman's awesome final breakdown in Batman Returns ten years later pays homage to this performance. The best villian of the 90s references the best of the 80s. Nice touch.

At this point Deckard finally gets a blow in. Deckard with the lead pipe on the rooftop.

Good, that's the spirit. That hurt. That was irrational. Not to mention, unsportsman-like. Ha ha ha. Where are you going?

Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.


Deckard falls from the roof but Roy catches him with one hand, saving him and the fight abruptly ends. Rutger Hauer locks Roy's place up in the cinematic rogues gallery hall of fame with his sudden expiration.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Time to watch this again. It's always time for Blade Runner

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Reader Comments (4)

T'was quite a mindfuck to see a movie so clearly 80s looking like it just came from the lab.

Forgive me now Nathan Baby, been too busy these days being a negative presence, and for appearing as a contrarian—I say this to disagree. The shitty synth score is the 80s thing about Blade Runner. The reason why everyone rips it off visually is its a progressive vision of the future. Whole parts of the world, in varies cities have a Blade Runner aesthetic, its beautiful. Keep in mind, no matter how grounded a movie is visually as a product in the era it was created it, the best transcend it because good taste is tried and true.

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

I think I might've mentioned this before here at TFE but seeing Scott's definitive 'Director's Cut' fully restored gloriously on the silver screen back in late 2007 is an experience I'll never forget. Gone was the unnecessary narration and false 'happy' ending, the film takes your breath away in its mastery. The pacing is much more assured throughout and the intended ending leaves you salivating for more. To say nothing of the trendsetting visuals.

Rutger Hauer's fantastic (much-better-than-all-of-the-nominees-that-year) performance only shines brighter as well. It gives him room to really be as effective as possible and his monologue stands as the film's amazing slow-burn climax. Within the confines of the best version of the film, it becomes even more haunting long after the credits roll.

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Agreed that seeing this on the big screen in 2007, the first time I'd ever seen it, was kind of unforgettable. I saw it on the huge Cinerama screen in downtown Seattle, three days into living here, and it's greatness will forever be a part of my memories of my first year here.

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Z

I've watched it so many times I mute the sound and recite EVERYBODY's lines, beginning with the woman's public address announcement of Leon as he enters Holden's office.

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterManny Espinola
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