Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto,
Release Date: 5th October 2017
An interesting sequel, released and set many years after the original, Blade Runner 2049 follows a new blade runner played by Ryan Gosling, attempting to follow orders and find himself. While this story is different to the original, some of the characters and history of the original film do feature, with Harrison Ford playing an important role.
Ryan Gosling’s character does not have a name but bears the title of ‘K.’ The mission handed down to him is to track down old “replicants” or human-like robots who are in hiding. This leads to many vicious fight scenes. These scenes are not however the most graphic in the film.
The film uses fascinating graphics with holograms seeming to stick out at you as you watch. Most street scenes feature ads with women dancing and looking out at you offering to give you “anything you want to hear, anything you want to see.” These ads pop out from buildings alongside company logos with many ads in languages other than English. With the city so dark, and the ads so bright, the graphics at times seem almost dizzying. This is particularly clear when Ryan Gosling hops into his aircraft and flies at speed to far away locations, which happens many times during the film.
The soundtrack and sound effects are an important part of the film. The film is best experienced in the cinema where you can feel your seat shake with each shock and you can experience the strength of each silence. The setting is quite dystopian and futuristic. Many scenes allude to a future where most are slaves to their bosses.
The story of Officer K is incredibly interesting and the film’s focus on memories and their creation is fascinating but all of this could have been packed into a much shorter film. Some characters who are of great significance to the film only appear in the second half of the film. The first half of the film is spent showing the surroundings and anticipating what is to happen next. Indeed, the environment is intriguing in its similarities and differences to our own. While the plot may seem slow-moving at times, it features twists that make you excited to figure out the truth.
A large issue with this film however is that it features an altogether unnecessary amount of female nudity. Male nudity is also present in the film, and penises are visible (a rarity in films) although only in a single scene when viewing the android bodies dormant in storage containers, and is in no way sexual. It is rare to see so many breasts in so many scenes. While the film may serve to argue that women and robots in future will serve to pleasure men (unless slightly older and therefore no longer attractive), the ridiculous amount of nudity in this film goes beyond making this point and is unnecessary sexualisation. Most characters in this film are slaves in one way or another but women’s bodies are treated as purely sexual objects.
In a nutshell: The main character’s journey through a dystopian land to unlock secrets from the past is fascinating, but the level of female nudity in this film is preposterous.