Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
What does God says about PERVERSITY? Answer
What is LASCIVIOUSNESS? Answer
What is SEXUAL IMMORALITY? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
mocking the Creator of life and the universe
Ryan Gosling … 'K'
Harrison Ford … Rick Deckard
Edward James Olmos … Gaff
Jared Leto … Niander Wallace
Robin Wright … Lieutenant Joshi
Dave Bautista … Sapper Morton
Ana de Armas … Joi
Mackenzie Davis … Mariette
Lennie James … Mister Cotton
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|Director:||Denis Villeneuve—“Sicario,” “Prisoners”|
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a bleak and depraved world where high-tech fuels even greater spiritual darkness, immorality, perversity, and violence
In the near future, mankind has come to rely on lifelike androids—replicants—to perform the more dangerous and undesirable tasks that humans would rather avoid. In the original 1982 film, “Blade Runner” which was set in 2019, Officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) was given the job of hunting down 6 rogue replicants that had gone on a killing spree. In the course of that film, he eventually came to feel something more for one replicant in particular and an otherwise bleak film ended on a somewhat positive note.
Now, 30-years later, replicants have been fully integrated into society. Blade Runners still exist to run down older, rogue models that are in hiding, and the force now even employs a replicant, “K” (Ryan Gosling), to track them down. Officer K finds and defeats one at the outset of the film, only to discover a person’s bones hidden on the replicant’s property.
The examined remains suggest that a replicant may have actually given birth, although that should be patently impossible. If a replicant is able to get pregnant should they now consider them human? And whatever happened to the child? This discovery is a threat to society that must remain hidden and so Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) assigns K the job of finding and destroying the replicant child.
Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), the robotics genius who took over the replicant business after the previous owner was killed, shares a vested interest in finding the child—not destroying it—and so he tasks a female replicant, Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), to keep tabs on Officer K, assist when possible and kill whoever gets in the way.
None of this is known by Officer K, who ‘lives’ a quiet life in his downtime with his holographic companion Joi (Ana de Armas), who he interacts with as though she is a real confidant and girlfriend, the main difference being that they cannot touch. Together, they set out to find the child, but, as to what Officer K will do if that day comes, even he is not sure.
“Blade Runner 2049” is as visually stunning as its predecessor and, in homage, mimics much of the style and tone of the original. This is not necessarily a good thing. What sets this sequel apart is how it undertakes an even deeper dive into a society that has elevated perversity into the norm, while taking a hard look at the implications of procreating replicants. I respect the script’s bent towards real science fiction, and, make no mistake, that’s what “Blade Runner 2049” is, but it is a shame that the director chose to frame the narrative within some very unsavory themes, visuals and gruesome violence.
Violence: Extreme. People are shot and killed, sometimes through the head, covered or crushed by debris, bombed by missiles, stabbed, a person’s hand is tortuously crushed with glass, a spine is broken over a man’s knee, and in one of the more grisly scenes a ‘newborn’ android, in the form of a nude adult female, is maliciously sliced open by Wallace and bleeds to death.
Disturbing imagery, along the same lines, include removed eyeballs, bloody bodies, and skeletal remains. The replicant Luv’s actions are as brutal as they are quick and, in one instance, she shoots someone in the head without a second’s hesitation when she senses Wallace’s displeasure. Later a character is held under water until fully drowned.
Additionally, the violence is often perpetrated so quickly that the audience does not have time to turn away. The extremely violent content is not appropriate for adults, let alone teens.
Sex/Nudity: Very Heavy. Nudity and sexual imagery is prevalent throughout the film. Officer K is in the shower and nudity is implied but not seen, and although Joi is a hologram, she changes what she wears to please K, and her clothing ranges from demure housewife to casual lingerie wear. However, as Joi is also a best-selling, popular hologram companion, one can see building-sized versions of Joi fully nude projected in the streets in order to entice prospective buyers. Replicant prostitutes openly work the crowds looking for business, and when walking through one of their operations the sounds of sex are clearly heard, and one can see gyrating silhouettes behind frosted glass walls. Naked inactive androids, including frontal male nudity, are seen within glass enclosures and bizarrely oversized statues of naked women in various poses occupy the landscape of an abandoned city.
Lastly, K’s holographic girlfriend Joi hires a replicant prostitute in order to finally have sex with Officer K, and she does so by overlaying her programming (or syncing) with the replicant. Although the sex act is not shown, the implication and lead up is still there—and confirmed when she wakes up naked in his bed. Very inappropriate sexual themes and foully presented nudity throughout make this highly unsuitable for teens and not at all edifying for adults.
There is also subtle political gamesmanship present in this film that bears mentioning. An often promoted message in today’s media is that substitutes for God’s ordained plan are often better than the original. We have heard in the media how a Gay person is more a ‘man’ than most, or how a transgender ‘woman,’ in reality a man with gender dysphoria, is likewise “more woman than the rest” and who can escape the promulgation of the conjoined words ‘Gay’ with ‘marriage.’ This is no accidental turn of phrase, and the supposition continues here when a character says that the replicants are becoming “more human than humans.”
Language: Heavy. Due to long visual stretches throughout, the film is light on dialog, so when foul language is used it makes a stronger and more profound impact. The Lord’s name is taken in vain once by the hero (G**d**n). While curses ranged from the f-word (7), sh** (3, including bullsh*t), “What the h*ll,” bast*** (1) and a euphemism for male genitals (pr***) is used once. The bulk of the curses come from the humans. Officer K himself does not curse at all, until his quest for the child takes an emotional turn almost suggesting that to be more human one must be profane.
Most films will have characters that audiences can either despise or applaud, based on traits that have been given to us through Holy Scripture. “Blade Runner 2049” is no exception and has several examples that can be held up for biblical analysis including: modesty, fornication and idolatry.
“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” —1 Timothy 2:9-10
Fornication—Aside from the near constant bombardment of ‘sex for sale’ on the streets, the film presents the use of a prostitute as a positive thing that will bring Joi and Officer K together. The Word of God could not be any clearer on this subject.
“For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol…” —Proverbs 5:3-5
Idolatry—Niander Wallace has assumed the place of God when he speaks of ‘making angels,’ or creating replicants that can one day reproduce. A replicant likewise refers to the miracle of childbirth when it is a man-made one (replicant). One can also sense the director’s dark vision when Wallace suggests, “We can storm Eden and take it back,” via his creations, naturally. The Bible teaches that life originated by the Word of God, and it is He alone who deserves our worship.
Ryan Gosling (Officer K) does his stoic best in the title character, and, together with Ana de Armas (Joi), they are the primary engines propelling the story forward. Unfortunately, the sometimes tedious pacing and minimalist dialog detracts from an otherwise sometimes fascinating adventure.
The strength of “Blade Runner 2049” is that it’s an intriguing Science-Fiction tale, however, one that sadly includes a morass of depraved, godless and perverse characters, so much so that I cannot with conscience recommend this film on either a secular or spiritual level, the latter needing to be our primary concern lest our souls be scarred. How better the other choice that our Lord God wishes for us.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” —Philippians 4:8