Feb 15, 2021
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are trying to find out if we’re actually the love children of some freaky human-robot coupling in the Denis Villeneuve film from 2017, Blade Runner 2049.
It’s not often that you get a sequel that’s arguably just as good or even better than its predecessor. What other films can you say that about? The Godfather: Part II? The Empire Strikes Back? The Dark Knight? This one is sitting in some pretty rarified air. The first Blade Runner film was a marvel and pushed the science fiction genre forward. Its sequel not only does the same, but it’s damn beautiful to boot.
We’ve got “K,” a replicant blade runner, who’s tasked with rounding up and retiring, i.e. killing, renegade replicants. A routine retiring leads him to a pretty shocking discovery: is K actually the child of our old pals, Rick Deckard and Rachael? How would that even work? Rachael is not a human being. Giving birth to any sort of life form should be impossible. Right?
Hey, if that was the case, then we wouldn’t have this remarkable film to talk about.
K’s got quite the mystery to suss out. Along the way, he stumbles on the insane machinations of a large, global corporation, uncovers memories that may or may not be his own, and learns about a growing underground resistance movement (another sequel, anyone?). It’s riveting and played with more depth by Ryan Gosling than you would expect from a robot.
I mean, his character’s the robot. Not Ryan Gosling. We don’t mean to imply he isn’t human. We still want to be best friends with him one day and we’re not going to blow our chances here.
It’s all set in a future Los Angeles that seems bleak, oppressive, and yet, not far off from reality. It looks as if L.A. and someplace like Tokyo or Seoul joined and became one super-city. If this is the future that’s in store for us, then what a curious ride it’ll be. Hey, at least we’ll have flying cars.
This film sounds amazing. It looks flawless (and earned cinematographer Roger Deakins his first Oscar win). It’s got a brilliant story and staggering performances. I can’t think of any other adjectives to describe this one. It’s just wonderful and worth a watch.
(Recorded on December 28, 2020)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned:
(Sean called the wonderful John Cena “Michael Cena” and he couldn’t feel worse about that. Oops!)