By Bennett Ferguson
There is a scene early in “Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve’s hypnotic and heart-bursting sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 future-shock detective movie “Blade Runner,” where two men crash through a wall. One is the bulbous Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista), who is one of many humanoid robots known as replicants, and the other is the slender, trench-coat-wearing assassin known simply as K (Ryan Gosling), who the LAPD dispatches to “retire” (i.e. kill) rogue replicants.
It’s grisly work (the swift, savage scuffle between Sapper and K ends with an eyeball being washed in a sink) made all the more nauseating by the fact that K is a replicant himself. Designed by the wan industrialist Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), he has been programmed to obey—even if that means, as Sapper puts it, killing his “own kind.”
Once he has completed his murderous task, K is free to climb into his flying Peugeot and soar home to his sterile apartment in Los Angeles. But then he spots something. Beneath a pale, leafless tree lies a cluster of small yellow flowers. Plucked from the ground, they have nothing left to do but shrivel. Yet K slips them into a plastic bag before heading home.
Can you blame him? Like Scott’s film, Villeneuve’s unfurls in a misery-laden future where pollution has eclipsed sunlight, ceaseless rain and corporate greed pummel crowded streets, and police officers like K, known as blade runners, have normalized state-sanctioned murder. No wonder K wants to find and preserve something beautiful; in this ghastly, failed state, it’s just about the only rebellion he’s capable of.
At times, beauty has been a problem for Villeneuve. His first English-language U.S. release, “Prisoners” (2013), received effusive reviews from critics like The New Yorker’s David Denby, who dubbed it “a thriller that digs into the dark cellars of American paranoia and
From:: Taste Of Cinema