I saw Blade Runner in 1982. It was a dystopic sci-fi story based on a Philip K Dick story, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Harrison Ford is a cop named Rick Deckard whose job is to terminate runaway androids (replicants), he’s called a blade runner. The movie was constructed as a film noir with Deckard in love with a woman that he knows to be a replicant. The movie is full of dark violent imagery. And the story has at its core the concept of the inherent dignity of all human life and the injustice of denying anyone freedom. And Rutger Hauer was a lot of fun running amok as a brilliant homicidal replicant named Roy Batty.
Since this is Orion’s Cold Fire, I feel it is necessary to record here Roy’s final speech before dying:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears…in…rain. Time to die.” It’s effective, both dramatically and emotionally. In point of fact it’s the best thing in the movie.
Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to this movie. It’s about thirty years after the first movie and K (played by Ryan Gosling) is a replicant who works for the Los Angeles police department as a blade runner. While terminating a rogue replicant he detects a body buried under a tree on the replicant’s farm. Forensic evidence points to the body belonging to the replicant that Deckard ran away with at the end of the first movie. And the forensics shows that she gave birth to a child. This is supposed to be impossible and so frightens the law enforcement establishment that they order K to find the child and terminate it and destroy all evidence of its existence.
But based on evidence associated with the child in K’s search he begins to believe that he is that child. Because of the usefulness and efficiency of having replicants fertile, Niander Wallace, the wealthy, brilliant and evil CEO of the replicant manufacturing corporation wants to find the child in order to learn the secret of its ability.
This scenario sparks all manner of fights and chases and clues are found and people are hunted down. Eventually K finds the woman who delivers the child and learns he is not the child. He finds Deckard (reprised by Ford) and reunites him with his daughter.
I thought it was an awful movie. It was full of off-putting action, boring and confusing dialog and unsympathetic characters. Even as science fiction it didn’t make any sense. We can currently read the entire genome of any human being. How could it be possible for a future world that could produce synthetic humans not be able to make them fertile. Also, since as we learned in the first movie, these replicants were born adult and only lived a few short years, how could having them gestate other replicants make any sense? They would be born infants and take twenty years to mature. Or even if in the meantime replicants now lived longer why were humanoid slaves needed at all? The advances in artificial intelligence showcased in the movie made the need for android slaves nonsensical.
But honestly, all that is beside the point. The movie was terrible.