So why is a blade runner called a blade runner? Despite my theory of Mr Snuggles not really hitting the bill, there are several streams of thought, one that the life of a blade runner is a series of moments lived in a knife edge, some say that replicants were revered to as ‘Blades’ in the dim and distant past, but in the licensed sequel books the explanation is a lot less romantic…
“From the start,” Batty went on, “Those (German) companies had replicants on-line whose sole purpose was to keep other replicants from escaping and trying to pass themselves off as human. That’s where the name “blade runner” comes from; those enforcement replicants were originally called Bleibruhigers. Bleib ruhig is German for ‘stay quiet.’ And that’s what they did, they kept everything nice and quiet; most people around the turn of the century weren’t even aware that the replicant technology had been developed. Then when Tyrell and the U.N. brought everything over to the States, and the catching of escaped replicants became a police function, that’s when Bleibruhiger got Anglicized to blade runner. The term doesn’t make sense, otherwise.” ‘Blade Runner 2: The edge of human.
This film is so new out, that I’m not going to do my usual synopsis break down, that and honestly the tenuous plot of this sequel is just too frustratingly laborious that I’d get bored writing this post. So I will just outline a few themes and opinions.
I quite enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so, replicants have moved on somewhat and the world food economy has crumbled so synthetic farming is a big thing. Blade runner K very much knows he’s a blade runner, and is hunting down rogue older models. This was great, it had a nice build up and I liked the post industrial farming iconography which was used.
Sadly this is where my enjoyment ended. This explores the theory of replicants who can replicate. I think that the writers thought that the double back twist in this film matched the original film twist of Deckard not knowing he was a replicant, but they tried too hard to make it less obvious and honestly made it very predictable.
There is a technology stream where the new replicant producer is desperate to identify how the old technology has evolved to reproduce, this never really feels like it takes off the ground, but it’s always nice when they wheel Harrison Ford out for an emotional (She says smirking) ending. It does feel like it takes an age to find Deckard, and then when he’s found he is just Han Solo in a another guise and with a dog rather than a Wookiee.
Then there is the hologram girlfriend…urgh, chinzy half beat love story for a replicant and his version of Rimmer from ‘Red Dwarf’ she comes across from the outset as a viral live in hooker. It’s only when you see the advert for her, that you realise that she’s called JOI, and the advertising tag line is “Everything you want to hear’ that you can link the name to the POV porn niche of Jerk off instruction…you can look, you can see and she can direct, but you can’t touch. Now some have said that she is the joy in an otherwise joyless and solitary world, but to me she just came across as a walking subscription to tinder. There’s some touches of tenderness, but when you finally see the advert you realise all the Joi holograms are probably programmed to learn their owners wants and needs and react accordingly.
This film is long and fairly slow, and as I have mentioned, somewhat predictable. After the first 20 minutes there were no redeeming features for me and this lacked the intensity of the first film….and I didn’t really like that one either.
I’m sure if your a fan of the original you might enjoy this on some level, but it’s certainly not the makings of a classic.
Do androids dream of electric sheep? We will never know, but replicants seem to dream of wooden horses.