Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
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Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas
Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel which remains consistent to the theme of the original but pushes the boundaries explored by its predecessor. The big underlying question is “What is Human” and the two movies explore its many aspects. Whereas, in the first movie a machine has been shown as near humanistic by having the ability to think and dream, the second goes a step further where a machine can fall in love, procreate, show empathy and sacrifice.
Blade Runner 2049 as the name suggests is set in 2049, Tyrell Corporation has been bought by Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) who has risen to prominence by saving humanity once but is now corrupted by the power he holds. He creates a newer model of replicants who are more controllable- they don’t question and hence, don’t rebel- as demonstrated by Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), his henchwoman. She carries out the tasks and hits, without questioning their morality.
K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner tasked to find the rogue replicants and ‘retire’ them. He has a girlfriend called Joi (Ana de Armas). Joi is an AI created by Wallace Corporation so that the replicants can have some companionship. K starts developing feelings for Joi and his love for her is one of the reasons he wants to unravel the secret.
During an investigation he stumbles upon a secret which has the potential to change the whole dynamics of the society and which will lend the basis to the revolt by the replicants. The movie seems biblical and draws its parallel with the church and its attempts to crush down Mary Magdelane and her supporters. He has memories like Deckard and in those visions he sees a child burying a stag toy. The quest leads him to Dr.Stelline, a memory creator who confirms that the memories are real and not implanted which makes him suspect that he might not be a replicant but a real human who was conceived naturally. From there on, how he finds Deckard and the truth about himself forms the rest of the story.
Blade Runner 2049 has stunning visuals and the whole movie proceeds as if the director is peeling an onion hiding away the crux in the center. It gives the feel of Mad Max sans the action adrenaline. The movie has a solid story but is a tad slow and very long. It racks up your brain and makes you think and discuss the movie. It’s not for everyone- if you have watched Blade Runner (1982) and could not digest it, you would probably find this one outlandish too. Also, don’t go in expecting a sci-fi action filled razzmatazz time-pass movie- it isn’t- it lumbers on at its own languishing pace, creating an imagery of a desolate future.