Making belated sequels to beloved movies is an increasingly popular trend, but one that yields somewhat mixed results. A better example of such, Blade Runner 2049, is one of the most popular viewing choices on HBO Max this week and is also one of Harrison Ford’s best films of recent years, despite being overlooked by general audiences upon its theatrical release in 2017.
Blade Runner is, of course, one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made. Set in the far-flung future of, um, 2019, it sees Ford as the titular bounty hunter tasked with hunting down rogue replicants, bioengineered artificial humans designed for various undesirable tasks. Although on one level a basic neo-noir augmented by cyberpunk imagery, it posits numerous existential questions about the nature of identity, the truth and fallibility of memory, and what it means to be alive. Blade Runner 2049 expands on these ideas, further exploring the expanding parameters of defined humanity.
The bulk of the story revolves around K (Ryan Gosling), a police officer and advanced model of replicant, who’s ordered to uncover the identity of someone who was seemingly born of the biological union of two replicants, something thought impossible. Ford comes back into proceedings when K discovers where he’s hiding out, and immediately plays a key part in unlocking the mystery slowly being uncovered.
In an inverse of the first movie, where Ford’s Deckard believes his memories might have been implanted, K comes to suspect whether the supposedly fabricated memories that he knows were given to him are actually real. It queries how much our past defines us, and if we were to believe ourselves to have lived different lives, would that make us different people?
Blade Runner 2049 sees Harrison Ford returning to one of his most iconic roles, and unlike most of his recent output where he looks utterly bored and wishing he could be anywhere else, it prompts a performance where he appears as truly alive as one of the replicants might or might not be.
Source: Giant Freakin Robot