Blade Runner 2049 (film, 2018)

dennis villneuve

he’s real…

I feel for you…

Quickly love, this one is a mystery. He’s real he’s real!

Dennis Villneuve seems to be onto something recently. Like a European logic delete, he keeps the audience at bay to keep the poetry real. A little off, this time we know Deckard is a human. Unless you’re a moron who likes conspiracy theories.

The point: what the hell is Ryan Gosling, who plays Officer K, doing in this film besides sleep walking through a role? An obvious nod to the original, the question centers on whether or not he is now a replicant. As for me, I just like his chisseled chin. That and his grip on his gun.

The film focuses on the next batch of replicants who seem to have a new origin. K, who works for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as a blade runner, opens the film with the traces of Sicario to maintain Villneuve’s griphold on the field. At a protein farm, he retires Sapper Morton 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, Lt. Joshi, 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.

It’s becoming apparent at this point that these replicants are pretty much human, with Leto’s character, Niando Wallace, playing the creator. It’s a allegory for the creation of man at the expense of corporations, a visual metaphor for test tube babies who are litteraly born out of a faux-vagina in the sky.

K visits the headquarters of the Wallace Corporation, the successor-in-interest in the manufacturing of replicants to the defunct Tyrell Corporation. Wallace staff identify the deceased female from DNA archives as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Eldon Tyrell. K learns of Rachael’s romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard. Wallace CEO Niander Wallace wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer Luv 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 believes this is evidence that K was born, not created. He searches the LAPD records and discovers twins born on that date with identical DNA aside from the sex chromosome, but only the boy is listed as alive. K tracks the child to an orphanage in ruined San Diego, but discovers the records from that year to be missing. K recognizes the orphanage from his memories and finds the toy horse where he remembers hiding it.

Dr. Ana Stelline, a designer of replicant memories, confirms that the memory of the orphanage is real, leading K to conclude that he is Rachael’s son. At LAPD headquarters, K fails a post-traumatic baseline test, marking him as a rogue replicant; he lies to Joshi by implying he killed the replicant child. Joshi gives K 48 hours to disappear. At Joi’s request, K reluctantly transfers her to a mobile emitter, an emanator, so he cannot be traced through her console memory-files. He has the toy horse analyzed, revealing traces of radiation that lead him to the ruins of Las Vegas. He finds Deckard, who reveals that he is the father of Rachael’s child and that he scrambled the birth records to protect the child’s identity; Deckard left the child in the custody of the replicant freedom movement.

While a technical achievement, this one is too easy to call a masterpiece. Like sleeping walking through a dream, Officer K clearly is remembering a hidden past that the film tries to insist is a total recall. The joke: he’s human, just like you and me.

That, or Harrison Ford gives his best straight face to pass the role on to Rutger Hauer, who finally gets to be the cop. For Gosling, he’s just a tool for the nepotist angle: meta, he’s stoic.

Why he dies?

Tears in the rain, baby.

(It’s to give his sister his freedom…)

    –Marissa Tomei



About Arthur Pendalyn

Arthur Pendalyn is a stay at home unemployed college graduate, with a BA in English literature (though he prefers the world "fiction"). In his past he moonlighted as a video store clerk, and even once won an argument with a customer who tried to persuade him that David Lynch's Dune was underrated masterpiece. To quote Arthur, "That movie is a piece of shit!"
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