The Best Films of the Decade: #10. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

| January 1, 2020
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The old decade is gone, and welcome 2020. And with it, here are my 10 favorite films of the last 10 years.

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Anyone who knows me knows that I live in the minority among those who have never really been all that impressed with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.  For me it was . . . fine.  Just fine.  It had a visionary template laid over top of a lot of ideas and discussions of humanity that it never really got around to.  It was too busy being an action movie to wax philosophic.

I was thrilled that whatever misgivings that I had about the movie were not present in the sequel.  In fact, Blade Runner 2049 does everything that I wanted the first movie to do and so much more.  Forty years later, the replicants are still active and they are still sidelined by the human population, but something has been unearthed, a new piece of information that makes replicants something much more valuable and viable than just machine-made humans.  I won’t give away the secret, but the replicants are evolving in such a way that they have begun doing things that were very likely not in their operating manual.

This pulls into question all manner of debate on what exactly makes a living human being.  What qualifies you to be a sentient being and not someone else?  What qualifies for this honor of being called alive.

The film was directed with gusto by Denis Villenueve, a French Canadian director who is putting together an impressive body of work that includes very adult, very mature films like Arrival, Sicario and the thriller Prisoners but this is his best film, a visionary masterpiece whose visual pallet feels like you’ve settled in with a great graphic novel.  It’s beautiful, it’s grand, its intimate, it’s a masterpiece.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
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