It was a surreal feeling a few years ago now when I heard that Harrison Ford would be reprising his role of ex cop Rick Deckard from the original Blade Runner (1982) and that Dennis ‘The Arrival’ Villeneuve would be directing the new sequel. In all the years that I have been quietly admiring Ridley Scott’s sci-fi noir masterpiece, I honestly never thought the day would actually come. It was also exciting to think that the new sequel might finally help address some of the questions the ambiguous ending of the original left us with, especially whether Deckard was a replicant.
In the lead up to all the hype, I read all the stories about how Ridley Scott had given Villeneuve free reign to recreate the world of Blade Runner 2049. Interestingly, Villeneuve, and I’m so thrilled he did, kept many of the elements of the original, especially its rhythm and its dystopian atmosphere. But ultimately Villeneuve breathed new life into Blade Runner 2049 through a new protagonist, played by Ryan Gosling as K; an integrated replicant, working as a blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, in pursuit of a new generation of rogue replicants. In his duties he stumbles across a mystery involving Deckard, and a mysterious child born to Rachael. (Rachael is the replicant that Deckard fell in love with. The two of them disappeared in the end of the original presumably on the run from the authorities.) The repercussions are massive contradicting the belief that replicants are sterile, setting in motion a multi-layered detective story, to untangle its implications.
Blade Runner 2049 may well be the best film I’ve seen this year. It is a landmark in modern filmmaking with stunning visuals, special effects and a very good narrative worthy of its predecessor.
Photo credit: The header movie still image from the film Blade Runner 2049 is courtesy of Warner Bros. I make use of it under the rationale of fair use because no free equivalent seems to exist and it helps serve as the primary means of visual identification of the films in question here above. I am not the uploader of the You Tube clip embedded here.