It’s been more than 35 years since Ridley Scott’s neo-noir sci-fi ‘Blade Runner’ (1982) released. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. What made it so special? Brilliant cinematography, a beautiful soundtrack composed by the great Vangelis himself, great acting, engaging dialogue, and just like any good sci-film, it leaves us pondering over many questions. This is not the film one can get and appreciate on just one viewing i.e., it requires multiple viewings to really understand what the film is trying to tell us. Unfortunately, the film was a box office bomb, barely able to break-even at the box office.
But over the years, cinephiles all over the world gave the film re-watch and then really came to understand how good the film truly is. Its depiction of a dystopian future was spot-on, and the film really made all the viewers question the larger picture of life: What defines humanity? It throws other questions at us like was Deckard a replicant? Well, for many years there were talks about a sequel but it never really materialized. Considering the fact that Hollywood has the habit of making unnecessary sequels to classic films which were never even needed in the first place, it was in best interests for the film to not have a sequel. The most important aspect goal of any sequel is to spoil its predecessor’s legacy. Which is why it took so many years for its sequel even to materialize because special care had to be taken to ensure this film is as good if not better than its prequel.
Enter: Denis Villeneuve. The Canadian filmmaker who has in recent years consistently made some terrific films like ‘Incendies’ (2010), ‘Prisoners’ (2013), ‘Enemy’ (2013), ‘Sicario’ (2015) and ‘Arrival’ (2016), agreed to direct the sequel. When the trailer of ‘Blade Runner: 2049’ (2017) arrived, we were all amazed by how good and promising it looks. All the fans who watched the first film couldn’t wait to see how its sequel would continue to tell the story in the Blade Runner Universe. When Blade Runner 2049 finally released, it received good reviews due to its lavish cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins, the wonderful soundtrack, its well depiction of a dystopian future and its thought-provoking themes. But sadly, it too didn’t really fare well at the Box Office, grossing just roughly around $260 million on a budget of around $150-175 million. Anyway, enough chit-chat about this! Let’s get to what the movie is all about.
Before watching this film, it is to be noted that there are about three short films uploaded on YouTube which have set up the Blade Runner Universe for this movie. In the first short film Blade Runner Blackout 2022, which is an anime, a blackout occurs in the year 2022 after an operation carried out by a rogue replicant of detonating a nuclear warhead in Los Angeles, thereby triggering an electromagnetic pulse which erases all the Tyrell Corporation’s database of registered replicants.
In the second short film 2036: Nexus Dawn, we’re introduced to Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), an industrialist who presents a new Nexus-9 replicant to the lawmakers with the intention of having a prohibition on replicants being lifted. In the last short film 2048: Nowhere to Run, we’re shown Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) as he saves a mother and her daughter from thugs. All of these films are essential to watch as they play a pivotal part in setting up the events following the prequel and leading up to the sequel.