Watch out for some real tearjerker moments snuck between action sequences in this sci-fi classic.
The goal of this series is to show that being "manly" and being disconnected with your emotions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. While the approach to these articles is one of comedy and satire, the emotional core of these movies is very valid. Manly movies make guys cry, for example: Blade
There are about 15 versions of this film floating around, all with minute changes barely perceptible unless viewed side to side. One version has a voice-over that the producer demanded, one has a dream sequence the director insisted on, one has Harrison Ford in a dress; the list goes on. Ultimately there are enough similarities in these versions that what I talk about below can refer to any of them, so don't feel bad if you've only re-bought the film four times.
First, let's make sure this qualifies as a "manly" movie. Gunfights? Check. Flying cars and dystopian future? Check, though these days "dystopian future" is being reclaimed by the young adult fiction crowd. (We get it, teenagers won't play by your rules!) Evil robots killing humans? Check, or maybe not check, depending on which side you fall on deciding if the robots are evil or not. Or if they're robots or not. Or if the people they're killing are humans. This movie is very ambiguous, guys! Suffice to say, this is a movie that bro-hams can boast watching to their bro-friends before eating a big bowl of bro-io's.
But if it's so macho, why does it make guys cry? Let's jump in and find out.
The film is in a future where Asian and Western influences have merged. Think Firefly meets The Fifth Element in a world where cars fly, slums are on bottom level, and geisha makeup has made a comeback. Harrison "Gravel voice" Ford is a cop who hunts down replicants, early versions of Cylon skinjobs before they installed the orgasm-spinal cord LED strips. So Indiana Jones is running around the Fifth Element giving people an empathy test to see if they're robots or not, and if they are he shoots them. Why wasn't that on the poster?
Meanwhile we follow Rutger "Hobo with a shotgun" Hauer and his crew of robo-pals as they quest to find the one ring -- um, I mean to overcome their built-in shelf life of only a few years. They don't want to start any I, Robot revolution, or a Terminator apocalypse, they just want to live. Despite their habit of killing everyone they come across, they're really not bad guys. So we start to root for both Han Solo as he tests/shoots everyone he sees "Cause it's his job," and the cyber-super-friends off to find the wizard -- I MEAN extend their expiration date.
Now, previous CEO of Wayne Enterprises Rutger Hauer isn't without his sadistic qualities. In a death that still chills me to the core (it's a pun, wait for it), they visit James "Kung-Fu Panda's Dad" Hong who's in a huge fridge making robot eyes. Disconnecting his heating tube, the robo-gang question him for information while he slowly freezes to death. It's extremely uncomfortable to watch, as each answer he gives is slower and quieter, until he just stops. Let's just say you may root for the synthetics, but you wouldn't want to hang out with them.