Harrison Ford’s Greatest Sci-Fi Movie Is Nowhere On Streaming And That’s A Crime

The classic sci-fi feature Blade Runner is currently not streaming anywhere.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated

blade runner 3 harrison ford

Now, over 40 years after its release, the neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner has had a lasting cultural impact on cinema. Titles like the Scarlett Johansson-led Ghost in the Shell and the Keanu Reeves-led The Matrix were influenced by the futuristic dystopia presented in the film. Lovers of the film might be surprised to learn that the Harrison Ford-led sci-fi movie is nowhere to be seen on streaming platforms.

Blade Runner was directed by Ridley Scott and written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. It had a stellar cast led by Harrison Ford, including Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. Set in a dystopian Los Angeles, Deckard is called in to track down and eliminate a group of escaped bio-engineered humans known as replicants.

Blade Runner imagines a Los Angeles of 2019, and although the technological and physical attributes of the depiction and real-life Los Angeles don’t quite line up, many of the underlying issues of inequality, decay of public infrastructure, the rise of corporations, and questioning of morality are all issues which apply even in the present day. The film adheres to many aspects of neo-noir films, including the use of the femme fatale trope and a reluctant, morally questioning protagonist. 

Released June 25, 1982, the film has an 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an 84 out of 100 on Metacritic. Although Blade Runner underperformed at its release, in subsequent years, it has been picked up as a cult classic film and is often regarded as one of the very best science fiction films of all time. The role of Deckard showed that Harrison Ford could simultaneously use his action hero chops and approach something with more psychological depth.

Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner is considered one of the prime examples of a neo-noir film, and also one of the first examples of a film in the cyberpunk genre. The film brought more attention to the works of author Philip K. Dick, who unfortunately passed away shortly before the film’s release. Since the success of the film, many of Dick’s other works have been turned into films, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall, Minority Report, and the Robert Downey Jr.-led A Scanner Darkly

Blade Runner questions morality, consciousness, and what it means to be human. It pits humans like Harrison Ford’s Deckard and replicants against one another. Rather than depicting them as emotionless, callous beings like the humans believe, the film shows how it is humanity’s influences and treatment of replicants that cause them to lack empathy in certain ways. 

In reality, it is the psychopathy of the human condition that makes the replicants in Blade Runner comfortable with violence. Viewers see this in the decaying, dystopian setting of the film that Harrison Ford explores, which pairs futuristic technology with obvious signs of infrastructure decay and neglect. 

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The replicant Roy is shown as violent, but also thoughtful and sometimes even caring. During the final chase scene between Roy and Deckard, Roy ends up saving Harrison Ford’s Deckard and forces the audience to question how humans judge morality and humanity. When Blade Runner’s humans treat the replicants as disposable, unfeeling entities, it reflects back to real life, where there are real disparities between the haves and the have-nots of the world.

Harrison Ford’s role in Blade Runner as retired cop Deckard underscores the idea that humanity and morality are more subjective than people like to admit. Although not explicitly confirmed, it is hinted throughout the film that Deckard may himself be a replicant who has been implanted with memories. Depending on which cut of the film viewers watch (there are several), there are different arguments for specific scenes within the film that point one way or another. 

The film has spawned a franchise, including the 2017 sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve Blade Runner 2049 which featured Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford reprising his role. There was also a trilogy of short films covering the thirty-year time jump between the original and the sequel. The anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus was released in 2021.

Harrison Ford’s status as one of the premiere actors of his generation should warrant consideration by at least one of the many platforms. Many platforms contain a plethora of films half as well-written, thoughtful, and impactful as Blade Runner. As one of the most influential science fiction films of all time, it is a travesty that it isn’t available on any streaming platforms.