Last month I rewatched Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” in anticipation of “Blade Runner 2049,” which came out today. I hadn’t seen the film in over fifteen years and I believe I came to appreciate its beauty and intricacy even more this time around, especially the final rooftop scene featuring replicant Roy Batty’s speech (played by the incredibly talented and amazing Rutger Hauer), the “Tears in Rain” aka “The C-Beams Speech,” which has to be one of the best cinematic scenes ever.
The sequel, arriving 35 years after the sci-fi masterpiece, has already received a number of really good reviews, including a five out of five-star review from Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw who describes the film as a “gigantic spectacle of pure hallucinatory craziness.” I was also happy to read in the review that the sequel promises more of those wonderful futuristic rain scenes:
There are poignant theme-variations on memory and crying in the rain and a cityscape full of signs in different languages (Russian, Japanese, Hindi, Korean), ghostly VR advertising avatars and flashing corporate logos, playfully including the obsolete PanAm.
On a side note, I found it a little bit fascinating that Elon Musk’s plans to colonize Mars were revealed around the same time that this movie was being made. The original “Blade Runner,” based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, is a sweepingly gorgeous display of neon and flying cars, but also full of warnings of a destructive future where robots are “more human than humans.” The first movie is set in a ravished Los Angeles in November 2019, where inhabitants could blast off of the planet to a new promise in space, with “the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.”
While the predictions of Blade Runner may not be as close as fictionalized here in the year 2017, we do have Elon Musk seriously tackling a colonization of Mars at the moment. This is not to say that Musk’s ambitious dreams are purely escapist, he does offer some very viable environmental solutions for good old planet Earth too, including an offer to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid using solar technology.
My ambitious dream is to get to the theater early tomorrow morning to see it in a quiet setting.