Blade Runner is a classic, not just in terms of filmography or overall cinematic narrative but quite literally from the source material itself. Pretty much everything that Philip K. Dick has penned has gone on to inspire greatness- look no further than Blade Runner and Man in the High Castle, inspired respectively by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and The Man in the High Castle.
Therefore it only makes sense that eventually someone would want to cash in on the concept of such an ingenious universe and narrative created by the 1982 neo-noir film. Do not mistake Blade Runner 2049 for just another shameless plug and attempt at rejuvenating or remaking the most famous films of the twentieth century however, as it is being made for the actual purpose of furthering the plot and passing it onto the next generation. I think that’s an admirable concept at the least, regardless of how this film inevitably compares to the original.
Whereas the original saw Harrison Ford gunning down escaped replicants and hunting at the merest hint of an existential crisis of faith, it also featured a brilliant setting and amazing cinematography. Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t seem so different in that respect as it also features Harrison Ford in some capacity, probably has several twists and turns in store for its characters and the audience alike, and also looks to feature prominent and iconic cinematic moments. The trailers have been simple but beautiful and I love the color palette and world on display.
It’s interesting to note that the film also features such prominent personas as Harrison Ford (reprising his role from the original), Ryan Gosling (as the next Harrison Ford), Jared Leto (probably being all method and pissing his fellow compatriots off), Robin Wright (not playing Frank Underwood’s wife), and Lennie James (hopefully wielding a bo-staff here as well) among others.
Such a talented and renowned cast isn’t always the key to success or even a good film- Star Wars did well with relatively minor talent in the prime positions and the acting greats taking a backseat albeit giving ostensibly their best performances of all time in some cases. However, I think it is fair to say that given the talented roster we are more than likely in for some interesting performances from major and minor characters alike. Gosling himself has been portrayed in some interesting role of late (La La Land, The Nice Guys, The Place Beyond the Pines) and I’m eager to see him give his own take on a neo-Rick Deckard essentially.
Harrison Ford is the man behind the mystery of the original film and I wonder how its respective conspiracies will play into the larger picture in this particular narrative. Here’s hoping Ford doesn’t take a lightsaber to the gut in this one at least, regardless of his character’s evolving arc. You can’t keep killing your darlings, man…
I’m eager to see the callbacks to the original but also more so how the original’s format is evolved and worked with in this sequel. The newest trailer has been fairly promising and also hints at a remarkable amount of content for the movie to discuss and viewers to digest. Even the simplest bits of dialogue have potential ramifications and spoiler worthy meaning if you’ve seen the first film and notice the references. Both the teaser and first official trailer thus far have been far more teasing and hinting than most film trailers are ever in their entirety and I love that.
Some of the aspects that I’m most curious about are of course how they handle the existential crises both Deckard and K seem to be having, as well as how this will tie into the ultimately overarching plot concerning both Leto and Wright. There seems to be a great deal of content and equal measures action and time for resolved reverie, so I’m also anticipating a lot of revelations and unraveling of a widening conspiracy in Deus Ex fashion along the way. In some respects, this is more Deus Ex: Mankind Divided than even Deus Ex was. And that’s not a bad comparison to make if 2049 can deliver on the concepts firmly laid by the original and expand in the right direction.
When it’s all said and done, unlike films such as Rings, The Two Jakes, or Caddyshack 2, Blade Runner 2049 looks to actually be both meaningful and memorable and perhaps the best way to toast the legacy of a classic film. Rather than spitting on what has been established it seems as if the crew is embracing it and furthering that legacy in a respectable way. Ridley Scott does have a way with backing ambitious projects to say the least.