By Bradley Griffith
Attention all hard-core science fiction fans: “Blade Runner 2049” is the movie for you. It provides all the elements a true science fiction fan could ever want or need. To everyone else, stay away from this movie at all costs.
In the year 2049 one company, Wallace Corporation, continues to make bioengineered humans known as replicants. These replicants are made to be servants to humankind and pave the way for future growth on Earth and on other planets. Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) is the founder and CEO of the company.
K (Ryan Gosling) is an officer for the LAPD. K is what’s known as a blade runner. He tracks down older replicants that are no longer of any use to anyone and “retires” them. In fact, he terminates them.That is his job and his sole calling in life. K is also a replicant.
The problems begin when K finds evidence that a deceased female replicant had a child. No replicant had ever become pregnant or had a child. No one even knew it was possible. The consequences of this could be disastrous. When she learns about this discovery, Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright), orders K to destroy all evidence of the child, including any person or replicant who knew of its existence. She believes that if humans and replicants knew that replicants could reproduce it would cause a great war between the two groups.
Through some good, old-fashioned police work K locates a man’s name who he thinks might be the baby’s father: Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Deckard is a human and a former Blade Runner. Deckard has made himself intentionally difficult to find. Still, Lieutenant Joshi orders K to find and kill Deckard. At the same time, Wallace orders his minion to find and destroy any evidence of the replicant birth, though for different reasons. K begins to feel conflicted, which is a new sensation for him because, as a replicant, he is only supposed to follow orders.
“Blade Runner 2049” is a hardcore science fiction movie. It’s set in a (surprise, surprise) bleak and dark future that is as brutal and ruthless as it appears. There are flying cars, hologram spouses, and futuristic guns, among other incredible technological advances, even if there’s no way we as a species will be that advanced in only 32 more years. These science fiction themes combine to make the movie very strange.
The plot to the movie is not terrible. Everyone is trying to find the father of the child and maybe even find the child itself, though not everyone has the same motives in seeing any evidence of the replicant birth destroyed or people killed. The problem is that the story is not very well communicated to the viewer and many things make no sense even when you understand what is happening.
Maybe the biggest problem with “2049” is the fact that it is too long by a large margin. With a run time of 2 hours and 44 minutes the movie is about an hour too long. The pace of the action is slow and there are many parts with K simply staring at some object while the viewer is wondering if anything is going to happen anytime soon. In short, the movie is mostly boring. If you’re planning on seeing the movie only to see Harrison Ford, you have a long wait until he actually makes an appearance.
On the good side, the special effects are well done. Where in many movies the special effects are obvious, in “2049” the effects are woven so seamlessly into the movie that you could find yourself believing that the special effects are real.
“Blade Runner 2049” is the kind of movie that needs hardcore fans of the science fiction genre to turn out to the theater in droves to the theater for the movie to be a success. If sci-fi is your thing and you enjoy long, ominous, brooding music you may like the movie. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and skip this one.
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Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity, and language.