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Blade Runner 2049 : The Perfect Sequel To Ridley Scott’s Masterpiece?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lancaster chapter.

Released in 1982, Blade Runner is one of the most highly rated sci-fi films of all time. Based on Phillip K. Dick’s influential novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? it explores revolutionary themes of technological advancement, the rise of consumerism and what it means to be human. Following this masterpiece of 80’s cinema is no easy feat; however, director Denis Villeneuve has undoubtedly succeeded in doing so.

(image from thetelegraph.co.uk)

Blade Runner 2049 immediately confronts us in its opening frames with the same dark, dystopian world as the original, an uninhabitable world devoured by technology. To escape, humans have colonised other planets where androids or ‘Replicants’ are the main source of labour. Those Replicants who escape to Earth are hunted down and ‘retired’ by so-called Blade Runners, such as questionable protagonist Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in the previous film.  However, set 30 years after the original Blade Runner, the film centres on Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a Blade Runner who, upon ‘retiring’ an android, uncovers a bigger secret which ultimately leads him to seek the help of Deckard, the franchise’s original anti-hero.

(image from gizmodo.com)

The visuals of this film, from CGI effects to lighting, are completely stunning and performances by Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas (Joi) are particularly incredible with both actors being able to perfectly capture poignant moments, which are simultaneously passionate yet heart-breaking. The frequent action sequences are, in my opinion, better and more intense than those found in the original. Although the film can in no way recreate the most memorable moments of the first film, such as its breathtaking final monologue, it in no way neglects its roots, continuously drawing parallels in both its imagery and dialogue.


(image from heroichollywood.com)

This film will leave you questioning the state of humanity, our assumptions and even what we mean by the term ‘humanity’. However in this current climate I believe that these are the kinds of questions a film like this should make us ask, and I highly recommend a viewing.