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Blade Runner

Ayla Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Blade Runner 2049

If you forgot what happened in the first Blade Runner, here’s a refresher: Rick Deckard, a former police officer for the LAPD, is coerced into doing his job once again. He has to “retire” (kill) replicants, who are illegally on Earth in an attempt to meet their

creator. Replicants look exactly like humans as they are “genetically engineered creatures composed entirely of organic substance” according to Blade Runner Terminology. As more and more film critics are praising the release of Blade Runner 2049, one can not help but remember how the original Blade Runner movie, showcased in 1982, was a complete failure: Not only was it a financial flop, but show critics overwhelmingly gave it negative reviews. For instance, Janet Maslin of the New York Times called it, “…a mess…almost nothing is explained coherently, and the plot has great lapses…the story lurches along awkwardly, helped not at all by some ponderous stabs at developing Deckard’s character”. While that may have been public opinion in 1982, the neo-noir movie has become a staple for science fiction lovers and aspiring filmmakers because of its complex exploration of immortality and depictions of a dystopian Los Angeles. The original movie poster has the idiom on the top far right: “Man has made his match…Now it’s his problem.”

     

Blade Runner 2049, which was released last month, has received much attention for the way the film has combined the intricately made plot and surfacing questions of reality. The protagonist in this film, Officer K, quite possibly may be Rick Deckard’s son. This is the question the movie centers around, but is still unanswered by the end; who is human and who is replicant? The effects of humanity is dependent on this answer because if replicants can procreate, it will have huge consequences on the world. Not only are they superior to humans but they can function independently. Furthermore, the movie reveals is how a replicant is created for the sole purpose of destroying his people, where the oppressed oppresses his own kind. French philosopher Michel Foucault wrote, “the subject becomes the principal of his own subjugation.” This one of the main themes explored in the movie where K is constantly tormented and isolated, where he depends on Joi, a computer program that improves the main character’s lonely life. But even that in itself is a paradox because the Gosling’s character depends on her so much that his enemies have a simple way to monitor him, which inevitably causes her destruction. Hence, Blade Runner 2049 examines human nature through the lense of power play and dependence while all the while paying homage to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece.

 

References:

Caldwell, Lukas Mariman and David. “The Blade Runner FAQ.” BRmovie.com: BR FAQ: Blade     

         Runner Terminology, www.brmovie.com/FAQs/BR_FAQ_Terminology.htm.

“Blade Runner (1982).” Filmsite Movie Review, www.filmsite.org/blad.html.

Maslin, Janet. “Futuristic ‘Blade Runner’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 June

        1982, www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A0DE4D71038F936A15755C0A964948260.

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The student news site of Catalina Foothills High School
Blade Runner