Saturday, October 07, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is a long movie. 163 minutes, to be exact. This is my critique of the movie.

The following review contains spoilers.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is rated R, and is not appropriate for children.

What is a Blade Runner and what are Replicants?

The movie follows a LAPD Blade Runner named "K" (played by Ryan Gosling) - K being the first letter of his serial number, because K is a replicant, and most replicants are not given human names. It isn't explained the reason the significance of the title "Blade Runner" but we know one thing, Blade Runner's seek out replicants and kill them. Replicants are bioengineered/synthetic humans that are superior to humans in physcal strength.

Visually, replicants in this movie, looked just like humans. Even when replicants are hurt, they bleed like humans, but they do not feel pain in the same manner as humans.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - The Movie Summarized

On screen, we learn that the Tyrell Corporation was in business to create replicants, mostly to farm and do labor. This company has gone bankrupt.The current replicant manufacturer is now a company ran by Niander Wallace (played by Jared Leto). The name of Wallace's head replicant is Luv, and carries out of all the orders given by Wallace. In the 2017 Blade Runner, the older model replicants are considered rogue, and must be destroyed by the LAPD Blade Runner.

LAPD Blade Runner K seeks out a replicant at his farm home to kill him. The man is a brute size (played by former wrestler Dave Bautista), and K must fight him in his home. The replicant says that K hasn't seen miracles. K kills him and takes his eyeball as proof of his kill. As he is leaving, he notices a real flower that has been plucked out of the ground, lying at the base of a dead tree.

This prompts K to have his police drone to scan the ground and a depth scan down into the ground. He discovers a buried crate. The crate contains bones of a replicant, and the police Medical Examiner finds evidence that this female replicant had a baby.

Police Lieutenant Joshi - K's boss - directs K to investigate and find the child of this replicant, because the public must not ever find out that replicant's can bear children.

As K digs deeper and deeper into the investigation, he recalls a memory that was implanted into his mind. That memory was inside what looks to be an industrial-type factory. Children are chasing what we think is small boy K, trying to steal his wooden horse. He hides the horse in a pile of ashes, and the children beat him mercilessly (the memory ends).

K recalls this memory for Lieutenant Joshi at her order to tell her a memory. Later in the movie, he must go to a children's orphanage, where he stands at the setting of this memory. He goes and finds the wooden horse, which then makes him believe that he was the one born to the replicant woman, and that the memory was a real one.

K seeks out a woman that is known for creating fake memories for replicants. The idea is that replicants with memories have more human-like emotions to make them more real. She is about his age, and lives in a bubble due to an autoimmune sickness.

K shares his memory with her, and she confirms it is a real memory. She tears up and says that the memory really happened. K leaves her angry. Why did the woman tear up, and how does she know this is a real memory. The only plausible explanation is that this was her memory. Because she was dressed up as a little boy at the orphanage to hide her identity. It is also a crime to implant real memories into replicants. The only explanation that he shares this memory, is that K is really her brother.

K goes back home and tells his holographic lover about the whole thing (minus the theory that the woman is his sister), and she insists that since he is human, then he should have a human name of "Joe". She also invites a replicant prostitute to the apartment, so that she can sync with her and make love to K. The prostitute puts a tracking bug in K's jacket.

He goes back to Lieutenant Joshi. She tells him that someone has come in and killed the medical examiner and stolen the bones of the replicant woman. He then tells her that he found out the truth. She takes his gun and badge and tells him he has a limited window before they come looking for him.

K returns home to his holographic girlfriend and packs to leave. He deletes his girlfriend from the apartment console so they cannot get any information from her. She then exists entirely on a data stick.

K then drives to the site of Las Vegas, now just ruins and empty buildings. He does a scan and finds a sign of life - bees. He then walks into a building and starts to look around, where he meets Matt Deckard (played by Harrison Ford). They fight at first, but then Deckard let's him go back to his home, where they eventually talk about Deckard's wife, Rachel. Rachel gave birth to a human/replicant baby. Wallace is set on finding out the secrets of how Tyrell Corporation created replicants that could conceive babies.

Luv and her entourage then crash the party, ambushing K and Deckard. Luv steps on K's data stick and kills his holographic love, then takes Deckard away to find out more information. Wallace attempts to interrogate Deckard, but to no avail. Wallace then decides to take Deckard off world, to torture him and get the information. As Luv and her entourage are heading off world, K finds them in his flying vehicle and force them to land in a watery location, like under a bridge.

A fight ensues. K wins. Luv is suffocated underwater. K and Deckard fly to where the daughter is - to the memory maker that lives in a bubble. Deckard goes in, while K dies on the steps of the entrance.

Critiques of the Movie

1. The movie is too long. At 2 hours, 43 minutes, it has some trouble keeping interest due to some slower and unnecessary scenes
2. The movie has this pulsating futuristic sound effect that is overplayed
3. Niander Wallace get too much screen time. Jared Leto has some crazy lenses over his eyes, and does have a creator type of feel to him, but his character is not pivotal. Let me explain: His character was not the one to die, it was Luv. He had a scene where a new version of a replace is "birthed" and he goes to "examine" her in a room. He takes a scalpel and slices her stomach open because he is angry that he cannot figure out how to make replicants that can birth children. His other scene is where he attempts to get Deckard to talk by bringing out a copy of Rachel, but he gets the eye color wrong. The way Jared Leto enunciates the words as Niander is very presidential, but does not seem to fit the character (in my opinion)
4. The love scene with a prostitute syncing with his girlfriend hologram was gratuitous and not needed to progress the story along.
5. K knows that he is a replicant and that his only memory has been implanted, but then thinks at one point that he was born. I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't know if you have lived as a child (by the memories you would have).

Some Things I Liked

1. The movie touches on the emptiness of life without a spiritual existence (i.e. miracles, a soul, love)
2. The futurist LAPD Peugot flying car and the drone that was in the roof of it
3. During a flyover of Los Angeles, the plots of land appeared to be very futuristic and all covered by buildings that may be covered with solar panels - it was very thought provoking
4. There is beautiful visual cinematography that really captures a dystopian world - particularly the west coast US of Los Angeles and Las Vegas

The official page of Blade Runner 2049 can be viewed here

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