Thursday, 26 February 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1956: Sterling Hayden in The Killing

Sterling Hayden did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Johnny Clay in The Killing.

The Killing is terrific heist film, well except for the unfortunate studio mandated narration, about a group of men who come up with a complex scheme to make off with a huge sum of money from a race track.

Sterling Hayden is no stranger to the heist film in fact the last time I review a lead performance by him it was for the Asphalt Jungle where he also played one of the men in a complex heist. In that film though Hayden played the guy who was only there to be the muscle and just was considered to be a thug. Hayden takes almost the opposite role this time playing the brains behind the operation. Hayden makes this considerable leap quite effectively actually. Hayden is of course still the always imposing specimen but Hayden adjust his performance well to no longer being the thug. Hayden honestly just comes off as a lot smarter of a sort here quite naturally. This is even before he says much of anything but instead of carrying the bluntness harshness of the muscle he carries the confidence of the brains. Hayden effortlessly setting up the character of Johnny Clay as he does is quite essential as The Killing is an extremely tightly wound thriller in that it basically goes from one essential point to another essential point with the utmost precision.

Hayden's performance really is all about efficiency here as everything has to be very much to the point. Well is pretty terrific here in playing that style. He's a master of the hard bitten dialogue that Johnny Clay has as he sets up every part of the plot, giving each gang member their duty, and even hiring an extra guy to shoot a horse for an extra bit of distraction. Hayden delivers these well as he shows that above else Johnny's a true professional. Hayden plays it with a certain cool style that's really quite effective while bringing a certain edge to still convey the dark territory his plan involves. Hayden though never makes it feel like simple expository dialogue, even though technically that's what much of it is. Hayden brings a life to it in his whole demeanor. He is the professional but Hayden also brings a life around the words really. A particularly like the scene where he hires the horse assassin as Hayden just brings something a bit extra that's hard to describe, but it makes the whole scene play out in a far more interesting way than simply just getting part of the plot ready to go.

There is even some emotionality to this performance which is also very brief and to the point. Johnny has a girl who we spend a little time with near the beginning of the film. It's not overly emotional but Hayden is convincing in still setting up the relationship, and creates enough of an investment to care about the two of them potentially making it off with the cash. In addition there is a scene just before the eventual heist where he speaks to one of his guys as they are about to go off to perform their individual parts of the mission. There is suddenly a sweet moment where between Johnny and one of the elderly partners in the plot and they have sort of a heart to heart. Well Hayden absolutely delivers in the moment making it a surprisingly poignant scene. In just really a second Hayden realizes the whole surrogate father son type relationship between the two which really was not given much time at all before this point. Hayden makes it feel natural to Johnny and natural to the film, and again it is only a very brief moment.

In terms of the actual heist Hayden certainly knows how to make movement spellbinding as he carries these scenes especially while despite only having some relatively lines to go with him. His best scene though comes at the end of the film when he's trying to leave the country with a very large container of cash. Hayden's great in portraying the stress within the attempt to stay cal as he tries to talk the airport to allowing him to carry the very large suitcase. Then eventually when the misfortune involving the suitcase Hayden is just about in portraying Johnny's reaction of disbelief as well as urgency as he knows he has to get out of there fast. This is only trumped by his brilliant last moment where Johnny, rather than fighting or running, accepts his fate knowing there's no point in escape. Hayden is quietly moving in showing basically the professional Johnny being professional to the bitter end. This is not the easiest performance to review, even though I really liked it, because it seems so simple yet that's kinda the magic in the performance. Hayden hits every note of his character so quickly yet so flawlessly and stays compelling every minute he is on screen.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1956: James Mason in Bigger Than Life

James Mason did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Ed Avery in Bigger Than Life.

Bigger Than Life is a mostly effective film, although Nicholas Ray's direction can be somewhat heavy handed at times, and Christopher Olsen's inadequate performance as Ed's son does hurt the film.

James Mason plays the role of Ed Avery that seems like a simple enough character. He plays Ed Avery who is merely a teacher, although one who has a work a second job as a taxi dispatcher merely to make ends meat, who lives a simple enough life with his young son (Olsen), and wife Lou (Barbara Rush). Mason importantly makes Ed immensely likable in these scenes. He bring his usual charm to the role although shifts it slightly to be more fitting to a guy like Ed who is mostly unassuming. Mason naturally portrays the best most moments as Ed merely just a good man who on the surface is comfortable enough with his life. This is exceedingly important for Mason to do, considering where his character goes later in the film, but Mason does an exceedingly great job of making Ed someone worth caring about. He makes him just a man quietly passionate about his life and makes him quite believable as a man who would in no way complain even about some of his rather severe problems that begin to surface. 

Other than Ed's financial problems which clearly cause him to overwork himself he also seems to have a far worse physical issue. Mason is incredibly effective early on as he gives the sense of always at least a slight discomfort. Not enough at first for him to be obviously noticed by others, but clearly something that is always nagging at him. Mason though does give moments where the pain becomes far more severe in moments and depicts this in searing detail. Mason is terrific by showing that intensity of the pain and clearly the severity of his situation. Eventually Ed is unable to hide his ailment from his family and friends when he has blackouts that lead him to hospitalization. Mason does some very strong work in these scenes that easily could lead to some excessive over acting. Mason though plays the scenes very much on point just going about portraying the physical anguish in Ed in an natural fashion. He makes the suffering come to life rather well through his performance without ever trying to oversell Ed's problems. It's great understated work by Mason.

Ed eventually receives his diagnosis which is that he has a rare condition involving inflamed arteries that usually leads to death within a year. The diagnosis is a very moving scene for Mason as he just quietly reflects Ed's fear in receiving an apparent death sentence. The diagnosis though does not seem as grim though when Ed is recommended a miracle drug Cortisone which apparently will save him though he'll have to take it apparently for the rest of his life. Almost Immediately after the drug starts taking effect there seems to be a new life in Ed. Mason does well to bring about a certain exuberance in the early scenes of the apparently now recovered Ed. Mason portrays Ed behavior in the succeeding scenes with an intense exuberance fitting for a man who has just been given a new lease on life. Mason shows it to almost be so much that is overbearing but still he makes it feel genuine to Ed'a mental state. Mason though begins to allow something to be slightly off about Ed after taking the Cortisone. Mason though handles it especially well though by still leaving it to be either just Ed maybe just understandably overjoyed and enthusiastic to enjoy life again or perhaps it something else.

The enthusiasm Mason portrays though creates the motivation for Ed as he begins Cortisone as though he wishes to take more of the drug to continue this particular high he has in the moment. The intensity of the "happiness" though Mason shows as an unsustainable thing which does not exactly continue once he ups his own dosage of Cortisone going even so far as to forge prescriptions in order to meet his desire. Mason slowly conveys that the high almost seems to transfer slowly to something else as other changes begin in Ed. Mason actually calls upon his often seen screen persona that being the intellectual superior. This rears its head at first at a teacher/parent conference where Ed is no longer his unassuming self but rather an egotistical philosopher who broadly states that children are stupid and that the whole education system is fundamentally flawed. Of course Mason is excellent at being so commanding and incisive merely with words making Ed appropriately vicious in this moment. Mason brings out that ego so effectively showing an apparently changed man. Although Mason calls upon the qualities of what made his performance in The Seventh Veil so well, he's not coasting on them.

Mason absolutely delivers as the cold intellectual as expected, but that's not what Ed really is exactly. This is shown from the start in Mason's performance as there is such a fervor in his speech. The intensity is not of a man who is slightly having a joke himself at his talk of intellectual superiority or in anyway enjoying the torment of others with his words. Mason instead portrays without an ounce of humor and the spirited way in which he delivers his words to be especially off-putting. Ed continues in this way as after that he even goes to his wife espousing that he is so above it all that he should even leave his wife because she his intellectual inferior. Mason is marvelous as he portrays this as a sickness in Ed's mind as he speaks of a man not within his own world anymore. There is the occasional moments of clarity still which Mason brings about naturally where Ed gains his sense for a moment, but only a moment. The reason being that Ed has not changed because he now considers himself invisible or actually feels this way but his Cortisone abuse is having a terrible side effect. That side effect being that it is causing Ed to fall into a psychotic state.

Mason is amazing as he continues to realize the way the madness grows in Ed. Mason slowly creates less and less of a pause in the behavior as Ed's ideas only become more deranged as time passes. Mason is completely chilling in the way he portrays the purity of Ed's sentiment as he begins to even speak about the murder of his son, because his son is starting to look as though he is no longer fit to live. The fact that Mason still keeps his manner mostly refined, although he quite effectively does create the sense of a greater physical tension as another side effect of his medication, makes him all the more disturbing. Mason portrays him as still keeping himself almost too well together well enough physically but he is a complete mess mentally. Mason is brilliant and quite frightening in portraying the uncompromisable state of Ed as he is completely consumed by his demented state. Mason visceral impact is striking as Ed decides on murder as well as suicide and Mason realizes how far gone Ed is. What is particularly remarkable is that Mason interjects this somberness still conveying that above all Ed's mind is a mess of emotions. Ed is stopped just in time and the film leaves on a 50's note where in terms of the script it seems that Ed's all better and just needs his Cortisone monitored in the future. Mason though does leave it a bit more complex than that with his work though. Mason allows it to be more bittersweet as he does suggest the old loving Ed at the moment though there is still something off about him, and sadly it might just be a temporary moment of clarity. Mason leaves there an interpretation to be allowed on whether the good man there once was in Ed really will remain. Mason's performance here is extraordinary. Mason carefully creates the detailed and powerful portrait of a cursed man.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1956: Toshiro Mifune in Samurai III: Duel At Ganryu Island

Toshiro Mifune did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Miyamoto Musashi in Samurai III: Duel At Ganryu Island.

Samurai III: Duel At Ganryu Island is thankfully the satisfying final entry, after the disappointing and messy Samurai II, in the trilogy of films depicting the adventures of legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi this one ending with a rousing climatic duel against his most worthy adversary.

Toshiro Mifune is obviously no stranger to playing samurais and what I find so impressive about his performance is he never seems to simply copy his performance even if the roles are technically fairly similar. Here he plays the same exact role three times in a row within three years. Mifune though actually creates a character arc through the three films. The first beginning with the brash young Musashi who desires to take on any opponent with his considerable but unrefined skills. The second brought Musashi as a proper samurai have a more understood skill though still confused about what exactly he should do with his skills. Mifune naturally brings Musashi to the final version of Musashi we meet in this film. He could not be more different than the almost crazed brawler we originally met as now he's basically gone full Mister Miyagi, he catches flies with chopsticks and everything, and hey I think you may be able to see Mifune rendition of that character here since he missed that part in the Karate Kid out to Pat Morita.

Now what I mean by that is that the way Mifune portrays Musashi in Samurai III is that of a man who has basically become self-actualized. Mifune is terrific in that he rids his performance of that fiery uncontrolled emotion that was such a part of his performance in the first film and an element of his work in the sequel. Here that is gone, and that is not to say this is unemotional performance by any means. Mifune rather coneys the way that Musashi has lost the impetuousness of youth, and very effectively portrays the maturity of Musashi as a man. He is no longer driven by anger, or some sort of pride of being the greatest fighter, he instead shows himself to be a man mostly content with his life as it is. Although for review purposes I must look at this performance all on its own just within this film what Mifune does so well though is suggest the other films in his portrayal of Musashi. Mifune does not play Musashi as merely having been this way his whole life but rather he suggests the effort and wear involved in the process.

Mifune's face wears the past so well as he expresses the considerable wear that Musashi's life has left on him. It is not that Mifune shows Musashi to be a man of exhaustion or bitter or anything of that nature. Mifune though does wear the  suffering he has gone through as well as the effort he had to bring to become the man Musashi is in this final film. As the final phase of Musashi Mifune is wonderful in realizing the man that Musashi has become. Musashi by this film is a true master as a fighter, but unlike before Musashi no longer wishes to fight for any sort of glory or revenge. Musashi now only will fight when there is no other choice. Mifune carries himself perfectly in having this certain grace about Musashi here. Mifune does not show that Musashi is simply above the problems he faced when he was younger, but rather what Mifune creates is an effortless sense of understanding in Musashi. The way Mifune portrays the reactions of Musashi's he presents a man who is almost always watching any way in order to strive for the best most peaceful outcome for all involved.

Mifune is excellent here in creating the great wisdom of Musashi in this film. He manages to make feel very much earned in the unassuming yet palatable manner in which he does show Musashi to now be usually the wisest man in the room. Mifune brings an authentic tenderness in the way Musashi interacts with various people in the film. Whether it is his young apprentice who he always quietly prods along to do the right thing, or even just some ruffians who are taken aback by the brilliance of Musashi. Mifune carefully never creates a sense of superiority in Musashi, even though he technically is better than most everyone else, but rather he is incredible in creating Musashi as a man who would rather gently enlighten his opponents rather than kill them. Mifune is absolutely convincing in making Musashi this philosopher which is especially remarkable since in the first film he began as just an aimless somewhat bloodthirsty young man. There are two nagging elements of Musashi's past though one in his unrequited love Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa).

The romance of sorts carries through the films where at the first film Musashi rejects Otsu due to circumstances, and then at the end of the second film Otsu rejects him. Here they continue to have their problematic dance. Interestingly when they finally come together the film as well as Mifune and Yachigusa take a fairly low key approach to the moment. It actually though makes sense, as they basically both were well aware of the feelings, and it is quite affecting as both Mifune and Yachigusa show how they quietly finally accept each other. The other element is his reputation as a master swordsman which leaves him as a target of his chief rival in that regard who insists on a duel which Musashi does accept. This leads the climatic duel and Mifune is outstanding in his performance of the duel. Mifune is great in that he does not show a personal hate against the man but still a needed determination as his life is on the line. His physical performance is absolutely compelling in the scene and helps the film achieve it's memorable climax. Mifune's best moment though comes after the duel as he shows that Musashi feels no glory from his victory, but just a poignant sadness that the rivalry had to end in death. If I took Mifune's combined work over the three films this could probably rank up with his best work. Taking into account his work alone though this is still a very strong performance leaving the role of Miyamoto Musashi on truly a high note.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1956

And the Nominees Were Not:

James Mason in Bigger Than Life

Sterling Hayden in The Killing

John Wayne in The Searchers

Toshiro Mifune in Samurai III: Duel At Ganryu Island

Paul Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1982: Results

5. Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedy - Lewis gives a natural yet still funny portrayal of the rather painstaking measures a man takes in dealing with his celebrity status.

Best Scene: Pupkin invades Jerry's home.
4. Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn - Although I do feel he is underused somewhat Montalban creates an imposing villain while also giving a fairly striking portrait of a man consumed by obsessions.

Best Scene:  "From hell's heart i stab at thee"
3. Michael Keaton in Night Shift - Keaton turns a potentially obnoxious character into only an endearing, very funny and even occasionally moving screwball of a man.

Best Scene: Breaking down prostitution.
2. Mickey Rourke in Diner - Mickey Rourke succeeds in proving to be a definition of cool in his very charismatic and quietly humorous performance.

Best Scene: Boogie is threatened.
1. Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner - Good predictions Psifonian, GetDonaldSutherlandAnOscar, and Michael Patison. Rutger Hauer easily gives the best supporting performance of 1982 in his portrayal of Roy Batty. He is properly menacing and certainly creates a memorable villain, but he goes even past that giving a heartbreaking depiction of the humanity in an artificial creation trying to find a way to stave off his demise.

Best Scene: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe"
Overall Rank:
  1. Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner
  2. James Mason in The Verdict
  3. Mickey Rourke in Diner
  4. Michael Keaton in Night Shift
  5. Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  6. Wilford Brimley in The Thing
  7. Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedy
  8. William Sanderson in Blade Runner
  9. Charles Durning in Tootsie
  10. Daniel Stern in Diner
  11. Jack Warden in The Verdict
  12. John Lithgow in The World According to Garp
  13. Lou Gossett, Jr. in An Officer and A Gentleman
  14. Edward James Olmos in Blade Runner
  15. Keith David in The Thing
  16. Richard Crenna in First Blood
  17. James Earl Jones in Conan The Barbarian
  18. David Warner in Tron
  19. Burgess Meredith in Rocky III
  20. Dan O'Herlihy in Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  21. Joe Turkel in Blade Runner
  22. Bill Murray in Tootsie
  23. Ian Charleson in Gandhi
  24. Joel Polis in The Thing
  25. Brian Dennehy in First Blood
  26. Kevin Bacon in Diner
  27. James Mason in Evil Under the Sun
  28. Brion James in Blade Runner
  29. T.K. Carter in The Thing
  30. Roshan Seth in Gandhi
  31. Milo O'Shea in The Verdict
  32. Max von Sydow in Conan The Barbarian
  33. David Keith in An Officer and A Gentleman
  34. Dabney Coleman in Tootsie 
  35. Robert MacNaughton in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  36. John Gielgud in Gandhi
  37. Steve Guttenberg in Diner
  38. John Carradine in The Secret of NIMH
  39. Thomas G. Waites in The Thing
  40. Sydney Pollack in Tootsie
  41. Richard Masur in The Thing
  42. Derek Jacobi in The Secret of NIMH
  43. Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 
  44. David Patrick Kelly in 48 Hours
  45. Carl Weathers in Rocky III
  46. Paul Winfield in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  47. Arthur Malet in The Secret of NIMH
  48. James Remar in 48 Hours
  49. Peter Strauss in The Secret of NIMH
  50. Vincent Gardenia in Death Wish II
  51. M. Emmet Walsh in Blade Runner
  52. Dom DeLuise in The Secret of NIMH
  53. Bill Kerr in The Year of Living Dangerously
  54. Martin Sheen in Gandhi
  55. Bruce Boxleitner in Tron 
  56. Paul Reiser in Diner
  57. Tony Randall in The King Of Comedy
  58. DeForest Kelley in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  59. Charles Hallahan in The Thing
  60. Mr. T in Rocky III
  61. Roddy McDowall in Evil Under the Sun
  62. Wayne Robson in The Grey Fox
  63. Donald Moffat in The Thing
  64. George Gaynes in Tootsie
  65. Richard Dysart in The Thing
  66. Daniel Day-Lewis in Gandhi
  67. Tim Daly in Diner
  68. Tim Curry in Annie
  69. Ken Pogue in The Grey Fox
  70. Peter Weller in Shoot the Moon
  71. Denis Quilley in Evil Under the Sun
  72. James Doohan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  73. Kevin Kline in Sophie's Choice
  74. Barnard Hughes in Tron
  75. James Garner in Victor Victoria 
  76. John Shea in Missing
  77. Burt Young in Rocky III
  78. Peter Coyote in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  79. Michael Murphy in The Year of Living Dangerously
  80. Walter Koenig in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  81. Bill Macy in My Favorite Year 
  82. George Takei in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  83. John Amos in The Beastmaster 
  84. Mako in Conan The Barbarian
  85. Richard Belzer in Night Shift
  86. Charles Durning in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  87. Charles Cioffi in Missing
  88. Henry Jones in Deathtrap
  89. Joseph Bologna in My Favorite Year
  90. Rip Torn in The Beastmaster
  91. Jack Starrett in First Blood
  92. Nicholas Kay in Evil Under the Sun
  93. Dom DeLuise in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  94. Gerry Lopez in Conan The Barbarian
  95. Hulk Hogan in Rocky III
Next Year: 1956 Lead

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1982: Mickey Rourke in Diner

Mickey Rourke did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite winning NSFC, for portraying Robert "Boogie" Sheftell in Diner.

Diner is a very enjoyable film about the various misadventures into maturity of a group of college age friends in the late 50's who always meet back up at their local diner.

Diner marks Mickey Rourke's first major role in a film after having done some minor roles including his very memorable though brief work in Body Heat. This performance can be seen as the kickoff for the Rourke's early image as here he plays Boogie who is renowned and very much acknowledged ladies man of the group. Rourke is best described with one word here which simply is cool. In terms of realizing Boogie's character Rourke really is flawless in conveying the breezy sensibilities of Boogie. He just kinda wants to enjoy life with the ladies, and his friends without really dwelling on the matter much at all. Rourke though very importantly does not portray Boogie as some sort of excessively shallow womanizer even though the character could have been interpreted as such. As questionable as his behavior could possibly be Rourke conveys a youthful naivety about it. There's no malice to his mischief and really it is the behavior of guy who's just learning about being adult as he still is kinda playing things by ear as a teenager probably would. 

It needs to be said of just how great Rourke is at being Boogie. He's so perfectly slick in the part and Rourke has such a bountiful yet easy going charm it makes him especially endearing. There is certainly is no need to question Boogie's status in the group because well Rourke simply is as Boogie is built up to be without question. He has such great charisma here that he really could not be more convincing in this role. Of course Rourke does well to show why Boogie happens to be so particularly appealing to the women in the film past the more obvious reasons. In the scene where he comforts one of his friends wives and even alludes to them possibly having an affair. Rourke brings such a genuine sweetness to Boogie that's it's hard not to like him even when he might be doing some rather questionable things. Rourke somehow pulls this off even when he is explaining to his date why a certain appendage of his ended up in a box of popcorn there. The whole explanation is absurd yet Rourke somehow manages to make feasible that Boogie could still win her over because there just does not seem to be a disingenuous bone in his body which is especially funny since Boogie is lying through his teeth.

Rourke never comprises Boogie's character in any moment but is terrific in staying consistent without being one note. Rourke realizes Boogie's whole manner in a natural fashion who is technically cool to be sure, but he also does purposefully keep it himself. Rourke's good in showing it not to be a facade really, but there are obviously times where he has to keep it up despite himself. Rourke shows the logic of Boogie to always be understandable to him as he tries to keep everything in his life pretty casual no matter what. Rourke makes complete sense out of Boogie's behavior which includes constant betting which puts him into considerable debt which he only tries to get out of by gambling some more. One of my favorite scenes of his performance is when he actually gets confronted by the bookie and Rourke shows Boogie trying to just play it cool even as the man obviously won't have it. When the man violently accosts Boogie to show the severity of the situation it is actually a surprisingly moving scene. Firstly it's hard to see something bad happen to Boogie since Rourke makes him so likable, but also Rourke conveys such a sadness in the scene as Boogie struggles to retain his usual demeanor as he clearly suffered more than just physical pain from the attack.

Rourke handles Boogie's maturation very effectively because he does so in such an intensely quiet fashion. Boogie never does lose his cool entirely and he seems very much for the most part at the beginning of the film as he does at the end. He does make some decisions that suggests a change in Boogie which are not explained through the film in words really. Rourke though in only subtle indications does portray Boogie finally accepting that he does need to take some responsibilities for his actions. These are never spelled out but never does it feel underwhelming because Rourke manages to still convey the idea with a particularly great ease. One such instance is when he must face his debt again. Rourke still keeps that cool but in his eyes the severity and understanding is clearly known to him as now he intends to face his problems head on. Rourke gives a very strong performance and I did not even mention the very enjoyable yet unassuming comic nature of some of his scenes. Rourke thrives though once again keeping the funny moments so naturally part of Boogie's character while still being quite amusing. This really is just a splendid and entertaining reminder of how charismatic and talented of a performer Rourke was in the early stage of his career.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1982: Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner

Rutger Hauer did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

Blade Runner is a very stylistic and rather compelling film about a police officer Deckard (Harrison Ford) who specializes in hunting rouge androids known as replicants.

One of Rutger Hauer's earliest major English language films was as the chief bad guy in the action thriller Nighthawks starring action hero mainstay Sylvester Stallone. In the earliest appearances of Roy Batty in the film it seems that in Blade Runner Hauer is again playing a role in the same vein. Once again here he is playing the seemingly main villain against another action star of the 80's this time Harrison Ford. Roy Batty seems set up to be the antagonist for our hero here as Roy is the defacto leader of the renegade replicants, as well as considered to be the most dangerous as his model was made for military service therefore he is both highly intelligent and extremely dangerous. Even in his first scenes that seems like that might be the case for the character of Roy with his dark leather coat, really his particular name, the ominous way he appears as well as one of his earliest scenes where he goes to interrogate one of the men involved with the process of making replicants which seems to set him up as villain, and of course that Roy is played by Rutger Hauer.

Rutget Hauer happens to be an actor who just is naturally a bit imposing to begin with so smartly here Hauer knows that he does not need to overplay things. Hauer carries a palatable menace with such particular ease here as Roy. Hauer makes Roy seem quite dangerous without even needing to commit any actual onscreen violence until fairly late into the film. Hauer's whole manner is quite effective here as he brings such a confidence around Roy. The threat is not even what Roy might do but rather what Roy can do and when he will do it. Hauer shows that Roy is well aware that he was basically made to be the ultimate weapon, and likely has had experiences to support this fact, and this sort of knowledge is shown in Hauer's performance. When he goes about terrorizing the technician early on in order to derive some information from him, Hauer does not at all actually try to be actively imposing, he just simply is. Hauer creates the threat of Roy so delicately by making the threat of Roy being that Roy is merely well aware of the threat he is, and has no reason whatsoever to second guess this thought so kinda casually prods the humans he encounters with this idea.

Hauer actually does not have that many scenes for the first two thirds of the film as the film more closely follows Deckard's effort to kill Roy's fellow replicants. Hauer though makes a considerable impact in his few scenes early on that his presence is never forgotten and he carries some potential of danger when he does appear. Of course what it is that Roy is actually after is hardly the standard desire of the villain. He's after no gold, or glory he does have a desire to be sure but the only desire of his is merely to live. All the replicants are given a death sentence in that they have four years to live and the reason Roy is tracking down the people in the corporation who made him is to find if there is a way for him to extend his life as well as the lives of his fellow replicants. In fact all the replicants did before, to cause them to be marked for death, was to rebel against there owners as they were no more than slaves before it. In fact what is the most remarkable about Roy Batty and Hauer's excellent execution of this strange idea which is that well maybe Roy is the hero and Deckard is the villain. After all what's Deckard's motivation to kill the replicants, nothing, other than that he's doing his job.

Early on Hauer creates the sense of Roy being far more than simply the robot made for killing that he was essentially made to be. There is a subtle though strong passionate drive that Hauer conveys in Roy as he inquires about the due date and what can be done about. There is a quiet sense of urgency that Hauer conveys in portraying the desperation in Batty not of some rogue android without purpose but a sentient creature who does not want to lose his life. This is not even a selfish desire though as shown by the moments after one of his fellow replicants dies. The scene where Roy talks about how few of them are left after the deaths of two more of them Hauer is quite moving in portraying only genuine loss in Roy's expression. When he speaks their names Hauer conveys a sadness in Roy as he reflects how Roy is truly hurt by their demise as well as the fact that he has lost the only things he has ever connected with. Hauer is outstanding in the moment where we see Roy directly react to the death of one of his comrades. There's no evil in Hauer performance but rather he expresses the striking humanity in Roy so beautifully as he simply mourns the death of someone so close to him.

An incredible scene for Hauer is when Roy comes face to face with his creator Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel) who is his last hope for salvation. Hauer is amazing in this scene as he loses much of that confidence as he suggests the gravity of someone meeting that which gave them life. Hauer is astonishing in portraying the repentance of a prodigal son who's returned home with again that desperation of a dying man, and Hauer almost shows him to be a man praying to technically his God for a reprieve from his ultimate fate. When Tyrell rather bluntly puts it that there is nothing that can be whatsoever Hauer presents Roy as nothing at all simply. Although he bring a frightening intensity in Roy as he realizes that he is indeed doomed and lashes out at the doctor. It is not only hate that Hauer expresses though. Roy kisses the doctor before he brutally murders him and Hauer makes sense of this odd sentiment. On one end Hauer expresses a final love Roy is giving to the man who technically gave him a life he would never have had, but at the same time he viciously expresses the anger at the man who technically gave him only short life where his only purpose was one of violence and servitude.

As great as Hauer is in all his previous scenes that seems only the warmup to the final scene where he confronts Deckard after all his friends are dead, and he knows he will die soon. This is not a typical villain hero face off. What Hauer does here is spectacular as he portrays Roy basically going down to the basics as he goes about chasing Deckard through an abandoned building. What is so notable about this is how Hauer suggests that this is a game for Roy. Hauer shows that Roy, knowing his end will be soon, that he might as well have some fun in his final moments since he seems to know quite well that he can kill Deckard without much trouble. Everything about Hauer in this scene is spellbinding as he almost brings Roy to his most basic physically in his animalistic manner while he chases and taunts Deckard down. Hauer conveys the joy in Roy as he takes pleasure in making Deckard suffer getting some revenge for his comrades while perhaps putting Deckard in his mindset which is waiting to die. In the end though when Deckard is about to fall to his death Roy actually reaches out and saves him as he falls. In the moment Hauer suggests a bit of compassion as though Roy is almost rejecting what he was made for with this final act. With Deckard saved we have the final scene where he pays witness to Roy's final moments. Well this is the scene of Hauer's performance for a reason because it is a thing of beauty. "I've… seen things you people wouldn't believe" is not Roy gloating at Deckard but rather seems to be him stating the worth of his experience of life. Hauer describes Roy's experiences with such magnificent eloquence of man looking into his past one last time while he has no future left. There is even a smile Hauer brings to Roy's face glad perhaps that at least Deckard has heard him and will witness his demise. Roy's final line, which Hauer came up with himself "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain" is heartbreaking as Hauer realizes Roy's death as the death of a villain, or even the death of a replicant but as the death of a man whose life did have value.