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BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017) – My rating: 7.5/10

Blade Runner 2049 is an American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner, which was a big hit receiving 8.2 on IMDB. 2049 is set thirty years after the first film. A blade runner uncovers a secret that threatens to instigate a war between humans and replicants. I didn’t like this sequel as much as the first film but still thought it was good.

The original Blade Runner was set between 1982 and 2019.  The sequel’s timeline is set just 2 years after its release date in 2017.  All the technological advancements of the original were adopted but many of the actual developments of the era were disregarded, for example;  flat-panel displays, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Pan Am.

In 2049, replicants (described as “bioengineered humans”) are slaves. K (Ryan Gosling), is a replicant that works for the LAPD as a “Blade Runner”, an officer who hunts and “retires” (kills) rogue replicants. At a protein farm, K retires Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and finds a box buried under a tree. The box contains the remains of a female replicant who died during a caesarean section, demonstrating that replicants can reproduce sexually, previously thought impossible. K’s superior Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) is fearful that this could lead to a war between humans and replicants. She orders K to find and retire the replicant child to hide the truth.

K visits the Wallace Corporation headquarters (the successor-in-interest in the manufacturing of replicants to the Tyrell Corporation, which went out of business) where the deceased female is identified from DNA archives as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Tyrell. K learns of Rachael’s romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Wallace CEO Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer, Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), to steal Rachael’s remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to Rachael’s child.

At Morton’s farm, K sees the date 6-10-21 carved into the tree trunk and recognizes it from a childhood memory of a wooden toy horse. Because replicants’ memories are artificial, K’s holographic AI girlfriend Joi (Ana De Armas) believes this is evidence that K was born, not created.

The remainder of Blade Runner 2049 gets interesting.  You must follow it very closely and should know some of the history from it’s first film to keep up.  Blade Runner 2049 is really suspenseful and a good mystery.  I feel the film moves a little slow and relies on too much technical lingo but if you’re attentive you’ll get it.  The acting is brilliant and the plot is amazing.  In my opinion Blade Runner 2049 is not quite as exciting as it’s original film but is still very good and holds it’s own.  Blade Runner is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  Check it out!

NOTE:  Archival footage, audio and stills of Sean Young from the original film are used to represent her character of Rachael. Young’s likeness was digitally superimposed onto Loren Peta, who was coached by Young.  The voice of the replicant was created with the use of a sound-alike actress to Young.

[Blade Runner 2049 is Oscar nominated for BEST:  Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Production Design and Best Cinematography.]