If you’re not a person who openly worships at the film alter that is Blade Runner, the iconic 1982 science fiction movie starring Harrison Ford, allow me to explain why some people might be openly weeping right next to you in the cinema lines this weekend.
The neo-noir inspired movie, directed by Ridley Scott, is one of those flicks that has truly cemented itself as a staple of cinematic history and pop-culture conversations.
It shows up on every “Best Movie” list, has spawned three decades worth of think pieces and has inspired generations of film, arts and creative studies students to churn out countless essays dissecting its every phrase, scene and meaning.
Many movie goers may think of Harrison Ford as as the roguish Han Solo or the adventurous Indiana Jones. But for a whole other audience he is and always will be Rick Deckard, an ex-police officer turned Blade Runner, a person tasked with tracking down bioengineered beings known as replicants and “retiring ” them (a euphemism for killing them, often in a brutal fashion) when they step out of line.
(I won’t spoil the original movie’s plot-line here, but I urge you to go and watch it in all it’s 80’s glory on Stan. Watching the sequel will be a much more magical experience for you if you’re immersed in the original story.)
Listen: Laura Brodnik and Clare Stephens explain why Electric Dreams is the compelling new TV show you need to be watching on The Binge.
The film’s long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 picks up 30 years on from the events of the original movie.
In the opening moments of the film we are introduced to Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a Blade Runner assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department, who spends his days patrolling Southern California on the hunt for rogue replicants before returning home to his shabby shoe-box apartment and the holographic arms of Joi (Ana de Armas) his artificial intelligence live-in girlfriend.
While out on a job and “retiring” an escaped replicant, one who only wanted to spend the rest of his days quietly toiling away on his farm, K accidentally unearths a decades old secret that has the potential to destroy the tentative co-existence between the humans and replicants left on Earth.
It’s a strong premise that works well against the film’s dystopian backdrop, especially since the original Blade Runner was, at its heart, much more a detective story than it was a hard sci-fi feature and the 2049 version treads similar ground.