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Blade Runner 2049 Review!

Joi Jondee here at Los Angeles, 2049,

Blade Runner 2049 is a challenging film that is gradually paced with incredible visuals along the way. I will attempt to keep away from spoilers, but there may be major spoilers!, still nothing that reveals the end of the movie. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who also directed Arrival last year and Sicario the year before also with cinematography by Roger Deakins. This team produces beautiful visual feasts.  It is of course based on the Blade Runner (1982) film directed by Ridley Scott (he’s one of the executive producers on this film) which was three years after Alien. This was in turn based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick. I read the book and analyzed the film for a college course. I think that film offers brilliant cinematic visions of a dystopian future, but the noir detective story was not strong. There were countless director’s cuts; in 1992, 2006 Ultimate Collector’s Edition, Ultimate Edition, 2007, and The Final Cut in 2007. It was really a director in search of his movie. The two Blade Runner films are written by Hampton Fancher who also wrote The Mighty Quinn (1989). The screenplay is co-written with Michael Green who also wrote the screenplay for Murder on the Orient Express.

The film begins with a prologue that explains the replicants which were used for manual labor and brings us up to date with the Tyrell Corporation from the first film bankrupt from events at the movie’s end. Another figure, Niander Wallace, has created synthetic crops that feed the world and then takes over the Nexus program making updated replicants without the earlier flaws. The earlier replicant models are hunted down by blade runners. This can bring up new viewers up to date in what you need to know from Blade Runner 1. The music by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer is soundscapes, synthesizers, and loud sounds. It introduces the new spinner, the flying car, that hovers to a protein farm outside of Los Angeles. A person in an environmental suit is harvesting worms. The spinner lands and out comes the blade runner, known as K, played by Ryan Gosling. K is part of his replicant code.  This is a complex part for Gosling who has the major chore of keeping all of the complexity of the film in motion. The farmer is Sapper Morton played by Dave Bautista whom of course was just in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. K questions Sapper who says he saw a miracle and they get into a fight. It becomes apparent that they are both replicants. K finds a flower by a dead tree and he has his drone from his spinner scan the area and he finds a buried chest.

K returns to the police department and encounters the replicant insult “Skin Job” from fellow officers. He debriefs with his boss, Lieutenant Joshi, played by Robin Wright. She of course played Antiope in Wonder Woman this year. The casting of this movie is impressive since it seems to unite all of the blockbuster actors this year into one film. Joshi is demanding for solving the case, but is also compelled by K as a replicant. He returns to his apartment, fixes his wounds from the fight with Sapper, and sees his female companion.  She is Joi played by Ana de Armas who is also in the action film Overdrive.  There is a scene on the rooftop where she walks into the rain and is able to see the raindrops fall in her hand. A scene of beauty that has a reflection in other scenes.

K is called back to see that bones were found in the box and he is able to analyze them to find that it is a female replicant. They discover a secret about the bones that will change this world! This event drives this film, much better than the former movie, and gives a deep meaning to the question of life. It also brings in Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), the enigmatic head of the corporation, and his replicant assistant Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) who is brutal in whatever task needs to be done. There is also, the designer of replicant memories, Ana Stelline (Carla Juri) and of course Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). He was the protagonist in the first film and now slowly becomes implicated in the mystery. This is a mystery with K on the trail.  It is not a dreary, dark as night, rain soaked film like the previous Blade Runner, it opens up that world into vistas that are dystopian, but beautiful.  If a viewer is patient, this is a brilliant science fiction film.

Five Spinners out of Five!


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