35 years after the cult classic “Blade Runner,” the long-awaited sequel, “Blade Runner 2049” is now in theaters.
There is nothing like the feeling of being completely immersed in a film. It is like being awake while transported to another world, or dreaming while fully aware you aren’t asleep. I felt this the first time I saw “Blade Runner.”
Within the first few frames of “Blade Runner 2049,” I once again found myself awash with sounds and sights that were new, yet familiar to me as I was taken into another lucid dream — a dream filled with otherworldly music and technology far more advanced than anything that might exist 32 years in our own future. Truly, the world of “Blade Runner” is not the one we know, but an alternate reality — a vision of what could be.
I was so absorbed in “Blade Runner 2049” because it is a look into another place, as if we stepped through the looking glass and are experiencing the story of “K” as he works to uncover the mystery of his own life and ultimately answers the questions left lingering in our minds at the end of “Blade Runner.”
In that motion picture, set in the year 2019, Deckard is a police officer — a Blade Runner — who is hunting replicants, or androids who are nearing the end of their life spans and have become a danger to themselves and others. He meets Rachel who he discovers is a replicant and falls in love with her. Because Deckard is human, he becomes a fugitive and must escape with his lover. Their fate was left unanswered at the end of movie.
The new film takes place 30 years after Deckard and Rachel disappear and tells the tale of “K,” a replicant who is a Blade Runner hunting replicants with open ended life spans and retiring them. While on a job, he discovers the remains of a replicant that, against all odds, has given birth which is an impossibility, a miracle in the eyes of the replicants and a threat to the humans.
Just the idea of a synthetic human being able to give birth makes my skin tingle. Oh, the implications. Yet, it is that very thing that captures the essence of the themes central to “Blade Runner 2049” and its predecessor, of existence, of “being human” and what humanity really is.
This tale of a futuristic Earth where androids and flying cars are a reality is an exercise in existentialism—the search for an answer to the questions we have of why we live and whether our reality is in fact real—by placing flesh and blood humans in the position of creator and manufactured humans in a position of servitude.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It is every bit as incredible as the first film. The music is reminiscent of “Vangelis’” original score for the 1982 “Blade Runner.” The cinematography and plot were exquisite to say the least. “Blade Runner 2049” is filmmaking at its finest. A film one should not wait three plus decades to see.