Blade Runner 2049 Parent Guide
Artistically, Blade Runner 2049 may rank as one of the greatest sequels created, but sexual content and profanities may make it a poor choice for family viewing.
Parent Movie Review
The original Blade Runner from 1982 holds a justifiable cult following amongst the sci-fi fans. And certainly, as far as stories about a dystopian future go, it can’t get much bleaker than director Ridley Scott’s imagining of Los Angeles in the (then) far future of 2019.
Now, as we approach the date of that first film, Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve throws us forward another 30-plus years and introduces us to “K” (Ryan Gosling). He’s a new “blade runner” who works for the LAPD and continues their work of hunting down the last remaining Tyrell Corporation “replicants.” These human-like beings are essentially robots who have advanced to the point of acquiring emotion, making them extremely difficult to detect from the real thing.
Originally engineered with superior strength to work as slaves on other planets, the androids also exhibit highly aggressive tendencies which make it difficult for them to coexist with their human creators. For this reason, the latest Nexus 6 model was outlawed on Earth, however a few still managed to make the illegal trip and pose a serious threat to human existence.
K knows this topic well because he is a replicant—one from an improved product line that appears to be domesticated. Subjected to regular testing to ensure his emotional state stays on track with manufacturer’s specifications, he and many other replicants integrate with humans, even though they still face strong negative prejudice.
When K investigates and kills a rogue older replicant running a worm farm on the California desert he unearths a disturbing discovery. Buried beneath a dead tree is a box containing what initially appears to be human remains. But upon laboratory examination, K and his human commander Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright), determine the death happened during an emergency caesarian section. Even more alarming, a serial number on the skull identifies the body as a replicant.
Feeling it’s dangerous for anyone to know that replicants can reproduce, Joshi orders K to destroy all evidence of the case, including wiping his own memories. But when K returns to the farm to incinerate the remaining structures, he finds a clue that activates a childhood memory in his own brain. This sends him on a quest that will ultimately lead to the former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who disappeared decades earlier.
Artistically, Blade Runner 2049 may rank as one of the greatest sequels created. Using technologies not available thirty years ago, Villeneuve has deftly crafts visuals and sound to create an environment that is one of the most immersive ever seen on screen. Ranging from mountains of rubble on the Los Angeles outskirts to a hazy, orange desert enveloping what used to be Las Vegas, the audience’s eyes will be constantly exploring the fantastical sets and surroundings. The soundscape is just as breathtaking. Perhaps the quietest action film ever made, the use of silence, ambient noise and a subtle musical score will demand viewers keep their candy wrappers silent.
With all that praise comes the all too often bad news for parents considering sharing with their teen-aged children what, for many of them, was an adolescent experience. Of course, violence is a concern with many scenes of hand-to-hand conflict that turn into a bloody mess. One individual, a replicant, but still very human, has an eyeball removed after being taken down by a blade runner. Another female replicant stands naked after her “birth” and her male creator runs a knife across her abdomen (not directly seen) and blood drips to the floor. Yet the altercations would still likely squeeze into a PG-13 rating if it weren’t for at least six sexual expletives and several more nude moments.
Los Angeles 2049 offers few recreational escapes. The non-human element of an android population offers a greater tendency to embrace casual sex and true “human” prostitutes market themselves as being a superior experience over services from a robot. While there is only one sexual moment involving our main character (his favorite companion is a holographic being called Joi (Ana de Armas), there are frequent visuals of larger-than-life advertisements of holographic women and erotic female statues. The nudity is mostly breasts and buttocks, the exception being a short display of disrobed androids that look like store mannequins with somewhat more detail.
This Blade Runner offers valuable discussion points as to the nature of humans and what constitutes a “soul”. As well, it journeys into tough questions about the ethics and responsibilities we share in how new technologies are used. Our overall grade also reflects the unfortunate creative decisions of this talented filmmaker to include more sexual detail and profanity than what is necessary to tell this otherwise powerful story.Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Starring Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas . Running time: 163 minutes. Theatrical release October 6, 2017. Updated October 12, 2017
Blade Runner 2049
Rating & Content Info
Why is Blade Runner 2049 rated R? Blade Runner 2049 is rated R by the MPAA for violence, some sexuality, nudity and languageViolence: Characters frequently engage in physical altercations resulting in bloody outcomes. Some of the most explicit include: A character is briefly seen removing another character's eyeball. After "creating" a female replicant that appears completely human, a man approaches her while she stands naked and cuts across her abdomen with a knife (not directly seen on camera) as a symbolic demonstration of how she cannot reproduce: we see some blood depicted and her naked body soon falls to the floor. Two characters fight and one is choked to death. Characters fight and one is held under water until death occurs. A character (a replicant, but still very human) is shot in the head and we see a moment of detailed blood effects.
Sexual Content: Female nudity is seen in a few scenes, including naked breasts and buttocks. The depicted society objectifies women in advertising and sexual services. Prostitutes are seen on a street in clothing but behind them we briefly see silhouetted images of males and females engaged in sexual activity. Large holographic images of nude women are seen, presumably as advertisements for sexual services. A scene includes large stone statues of women in erotic positons. A scene depicts nude replicants that lack human details and look more like store mannequins, however some briefly reveal male and female genitalia.
Profanity: Although profanities are relatively infrequent, they include at least six uses of a sexual expletive in a non-sexual context. A few other mild profanities and a scatological term are heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Cigarette smoking and alcohol use are depicted. A character keeps alcohol in an office desk. Another character says there is an abundance of whisky, then pours drinks for a visitor and pours some on the floor for a dog.
Page last updated October 12, 2017
More parents' guide for Blade Runner 2049 after the break...
Blade Runner 2049 Parents' Guide
Dystopian societies are often depicted in futuristic science fiction. Why are we drawn to movies that show the future in such a negative way? What messages are this movie trying to tell us? What lessons would the writer of this film want us to learn?
The original Blade Runner depicted Los Angeles in 2019, thirty-seven years after the movie was made. While still in the future by two years (from the time of this writing), how does present day Los Angeles compare with the depiction in the movie? What other films have erroneously depicted the future? What ones have done so accurately?
In this movie, "K" must undergo regular tests to verify he is acting according to standards set for replicants. Do you think artificial intelligence will get to the point where we won't be able to easily discern a human from a robot? The use of "bots" on the Internet is already a major issue. Here's one example of a company offering services to verify if you are a human.
News About "Blade Runner 2049"
Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the 1982 movie Blade Runner, which is set in 2019.
Harrison Ford plays the character Rick Deckard in both films. Writer Hampton Fancher also returns. He penned the first script with David Webb Peoples, and the second with Michael Green.
The first movie was based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The second will require more creativity from the scriptwriters because the book's author Philip K. Dick past away in 1982 -- just three short months before Blade Runner opened in theaters.
Ryan Gosling appears in the new chapter of the story, releasing in 2017. He takes on the role of Officer K, a futuristic bounty hunter who tracks human-like robots. He also has a few questions he'd like to ask of Rick Deckard, the man who made the occupation of Blade Runner so iconic three decades earlier.
The 1976 movie Logan's Run also depicts a futuristic society in the year 2274. Although it seems idyllic, citizens are forced to die when they turn 30. Like the quest "K" begins in Blade Runner 2049, the protagonist in this movie leaves the city and searches for wisdom from an elderly source. Note that while Logan's Run was rated PG, it contains brief nudity and some brief sexual situations.
From the Studio:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Written by Warner Bros. Pictures