Blade Runner 2049 cuts Deep

By Klara Chmelarova

Blade Runner 2049 might be another virtuous cyberpunk adventure, but, above all, it questions the definition of humanity.

Dystopian dream of 70s towers on the surface. Neons, noodle bars, and steam strangle the new age Los Angeles. Most humans are off to colonize other worlds and L.A. slum shelters paupers with Nexus 9 replicants.

Also called “Skin jobs,” new models of bioorganic androids work as slaves and live as second-class citizens. After the replicant rebellion in the original film, Nexus 9s are kept on a tight leash, while Blade Runners hunt the rogue Nexus 8 models.

Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is both a Blade Runner for LAPD and a docile replicant. That lasts until one of his “retirings”- a term used for killing the older series – sends him into identity crisis with some world turnover on the side.

When director Ridley Scott forced the public to look at the first Blade Runner 35 years ago, the idea of conscious artificial being shocked people. The sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve – who also stood behind 2016 Arrival – wanted the audience to sit down and think. As such the plot let up in the larger-than-life journey and focused on K.

His silent devotion to holograph JOI (Ana de Armas) and Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) redefined source of being a human. But, Villeneuve didn’t turn the concept into a bland love story. He rather reconsidered it in the face of approaching transhumanism. In the beginning, K executed, because someone ordered him to. As the story unraveled, however, he lost agendas of others and much like a child, he had to find his own way. He did and it built a climax worth waiting for. New Blade Runner more than followed it’s heirloom.

It pointed finger into the auditorium and asked: What will we do when our own creation becomes: “more human than human?”

Klara’s Review: 5/5

Blade Runner at a Slow Pace

By Olivia Dom

Blade Runner 2049 is exhausting, yet not fulfilling. It has stunning visuals, yet underwhelming by pacing. The long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original science fiction classic Blade Runner, much rides on its success. But that was never in doubt.

Sequels to classic films are now the new “hot ticket.” In the audience, you’ll find two major groups: diehard fans of the original, ready to step back into the familiar world. The other is new fans, perhaps acquainted with the original but looking at their own spin on the story.

Blade Runner 2049 fulfills the old, building out the world of a dystopian California. Where it snows in LA due to climate change, and the southern city of San Diego is nothing but a garbage dump.

Where 2049 lacks, is the slow pacing. It reads as a novel, or a thought out miniseries played back to back. Every new location has near limitless expository shots, showing details that fill out the world, but also feel unnecessary to keep the story moving. 3 hours that could have easily been shortened into 2.

Ryan Gosling excels at an emotionless performance, driven by his craving to experience human emotion of desire, and care. To have a soul perhaps, in a cold world. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) is an incredible highlight, as puts himself completely into every role he is cast in. Jared Leto (Suicide Squad) feels like a miscasting, while Robin Wright (Wonder Woman, House of Cards) puts an incredible amount of soul into her performance as police chief.

Harrison Ford, on the other hand, is clearly there to collect a paycheck. Coming in in the third act, Ford does a wonderful job sitting and reacting to people talking at him. His role feels like a piece of candy, to get the audience in their seats and wait through hours and hours of exposition.

The dialogue was very strong, Blade Runner’s screenwriter Hampton Fancher came back to co-write. But much of the dialogue was accompanied by long dramatic pauses, stretching out conversations and scenes.

2049 feels like the intermediary, almost like a side story, to bridge the gap between original Blade Runner and a future sequel. Ridley Scott has proudly declared there are 4 possibilities for sequels to Blade Runner, I smell a franchise. Perhaps a Blade Runner cinematic universe?

Livi’s Review: 2/5 stars