I’d mentioned in my last Dog Ear how I’d come to read Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and the mix of the movie and book (from a Japanese anime perspective). And yes, the little cartoon characters were right – both the movie and the book had merits. I’ve always enjoyed Blade Runner (but only the director’s cut – I mean, really, Rachael has no inception date? That ruins the entire story (and its sprawling idea of the preciousness of life)).
Overall, I love the idea of androids desperate to live and a burned out bounty hunter desperate to be done with this. It’s a good storyline, to which you need to give Philip K. Dick his due.
But due we don’t.
The climactic battle in the movie (where Deckard plays cat and mouse with the last of the androids, who is chasing him around that massive, empty and rotting hotel) is amazing. But back up the video – when he arrives, there is the decaying front, clearly marked as “The Bradbury”. Cute – a nice shout out to one of the founders of modern science fiction.
But Dick wrote thirty six novels and five short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. If you look on any collection of great Scifi authors, he’s there.
So, in a movie that is lifted largely from his book, they give the nod to another author? That’s pretty cold. Colder than hunting replicants in the driving rain with your gun grasped in your broken-fingered hands.
Part of it is the last name, of course. There was no way to name the hotel after him; Bradbury is distinctive. “Hotel Dick” doesn’t cut it. But if they were going to put out a reference, they should have done it to him. After all, it was his idea that spawned the entire movie in the first place.
Doesn’t seem fair. But then again, neither is life. And, as the book and movie pointed out, life is so very, very short.