Are You Real?

Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

I am not used to saying nice things about sequels and remakes. The original Blade Runner (1982) was directed by Ridley Scott. In this sequel done thirty-five years later, Ridley Scott is listed as an Executive Producer. Could that be the reason that this sequel fits perfectly with the older film, and even shares several characters, most notably Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard.

If you are interested in seeing this film, I recommend that you not only see the original 1982 film, but read Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Even though I have done both, I plan to re-read the Dick novel and see the Ridley Scott original within the next week or so.

Poster for the New Blade Runner 2049

What I love about this film is the philosophical question, “Is it real or is it a replicant?” (Replicants are robots, and a Blade Runner is a policeman who “retires” certain kinds of replicants who may be troublesome by assassinating them.) For most of the film, I kept asking myself whether Gosling as “K” is himself a replicant, as he seems to have some superhuman powers in a fight. The question is finally answered at the end, but I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Speaking as a Hungarian, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film was shot in Hungary and that most of the crew and some of the cast were my fellow countrymen. This was the second film I saw this year that was shot in Hungary, and I’ve only seen a handful of new films. I wonder how much of a tendency this is getting to be.

There are images in this film that will stick with me, such as the ruins of Las Vegas and San Diego, the lovely female replicants who are available for monkey business (see illustration below), and the impassive face of Ryan Gosling.

Highly recommended!

A Projection of a Highly Available Replicant Tries to Persuade K