Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2018)

by Caleb Wiley

With the sci-fi classic “Blade Runner” being so beloved and Ridley Scott being the great and successful director that he is, Denis Villeneuve had big shoes to fill in directing the sequel “Blade Runner 2049”. He did not disappoint, delivering a beauty that might very well be another classic, and even surpass the first one.

The movie was one of the best thrillers of the year, with enough action to complement the story. The cast was very talented and did a wonderful job. Amazing scenery and imagery, that did not overdo itself by seeming too futuristic, made the audience believe that this is what the near future may look like. 

The movie takes place 30 years after the first motion picture with a young LAPD blade runner, Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling. The blade runner’s mission is to “retire” old bioengineered human android “duplicates” who have disobeyed their orders. The duplicates are created by a very powerful character named Niander Wallace, acted by Jared Leto.  He acts very godlike, calling his duplicates “angels” and his most trusted duplicate “love”.  

Leto’s character was a insane, industrial leader, and making duplicates better was the only thing he cared about. When he found out that a duplicate had a child with ex-blade runner Officer Deckard (Harrison Ford), he was obsessed with finding it because duplicates are unable to have kids. His objective for the whole movie was to capture the child to study it and find out how it came to be. Showing his insanity was one scene he was visibly disappointed because he was unable to figure out how this duplicate was able to bear a child. He bitterly cut the stomach of a newly made duplicate, very disgusted with himself.  

Director Villanueva did a great job of implementing the aspect of what’s real and what’s not, what makes you a person. In one scene, the LAPD chief made a comment about duplicates not having a “soul”. However, Officer K was a duplicate but he loved something, a hologram played by Ana De Armas, presenting the counterargument that someone soulless would not feel love. 

Officer K is given a mission to “retire” the child of the duplicate, for if the public would find out such a thing society would goes insane. Throughout the movie, as Officer K finds clues that would point that he is himself the child, he begins to worry that he would be running for the rest of his life. 

In another scene, as the Officer K finds out whether or not he is the child, one duplicate says that all the duplicates wishes they were the child of the duplicate. This shows how desperate they are just to feel human rather than engineered. This goes back to the point of what makes you human: is it being created the natural way and being able to feel.

The movie was not a big box office hit because it wasn’t action 100% of the time. I recommend seeing this movie if you are interested in a great story and making yourself think. Even if you did not see the first one, the movie can be really enjoyable, even though Villanueva refers back to the original a lot. Anybody is able to follow the story and understand the essence of what is happening without seeing the original. 

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