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Film Review - Blade Runner 2049

May 17, 2018

Film Review - BLADE RUNNER 2049

Balde Runner 2049  

In 1982, director Ridley Scott, fresh off the success of his 1979 sci\fi horror epic Alien, gave us another sci\fiction fix with Blade Runner, based on a book by Phillip K. Dick, called..."Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" The film, set in the year 2019 Los Angeles, presented us with a wet, neon drenched, technologically overloaded dystopian society, that was also dark, grimy and sleazy. Much of its style played homage to film noir of the 40's - with stunning special effects and cinematography, the film presented us with a visual feast, that also contained plenty of substance for the discerning film-goer. Harrison Ford plays Deckard, a former cop who is now known as a Blade Runner, who has to hunt down and "retire" artificial humans known as 'Replicants'.  They were created for slave labour on off world colonies and have super human strength. Several mutiny and end up on earth in LA, wanting to find their maker to prolong their lives. They only have a 4yr life span and are considered dangerous. This brings up a major theme coursing throughout the film, what is human and what is it that make us human?  

Skip to 2017 and Ridley Scott who has now produced, has handed over the directorial reigns to Denis Villeneuve—Prisoners-13', Arrival-16'—with equally stunning results. It's 30 years later in the Blade Runner universe and new Replicants are being manufactured, while older models are still being "retired". K—played by the always reliable Ryan Gosling—is a Replicant Blade Runner designed to hunt down the older models, and as the narrative progresses, the hunter becomes the hunted.  

The film creates a similar world that was presented in the original, where wealthy corporations are calling the shots and humanity appears to have been corrupted. Approved Replicants like K—known as Skinjobs—are treated with disapproval by many of the human population and when bone artefacts are discovered from an earlier female Replicant model, it is also discovered that she was capable of reproducing. This is seen as a threat to the company in charge of the Blade Runners, who want the dead Replicant's child discovered and "retired". This leads K, into a deep and complex search within his own memory implants to uncover the truth about the child. Deckard—again played by Ford—who has been missing for 30 yr, will unlock the ambiguous answers K has about his own life as a Replicant and that of Deckard's connection to his own past.  

Blade Runner 2049, can have you pondering over its themes days later and as in the best of films, the substance will reflect in its style. The film was awarded two Academy Awards this year for its outstanding cinematography and visual effects, which gives a strong indication of its quality, strength and even beauty.   

By Darren Cunningham…Bond Library’s film reviewer 

If you are an avid movie fan and would like some recommendations from our Bond Library DVD collection, please ask Darren.