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10 Reasons Why “Blade Runner 2049” Is Better Than The Original

14 October 2017 | Features, Other Lists | by Tom Lorenzo

5. The Most Original Love Scene in Recent Memory

The original movie is one built upon a love story between a human (yeah, I said it) and a replicant. But it is a movie that is really cold and inhuman. It’s hard to really care about their love story on an emotional level. So kudos to this movie for managing to stay cold and clinical while making the romance between Gosling and Ana de Armas, two characters that aren’t exactly real.

Gosling is a replicant and Armas is a hologram, so their humanity is nonexistent to us. But throughout the movie we get a real sense of them and get to watch as they change. Humanity creeps in to the point where they are more human than human.

It all culminates in the most original love scene in quite some time as Mackenzie Davis plays a replicant prostitute who Armas hired so she and Gosling can have some sort of physical relation, even if it’s through a cypher. Seeing the two ladies merge and come together/apart is wild. It’s such a high concept scene and executed so perfectly that it boggles the mind at first. It’s really wild and Villeneuve kills it here.


4. The Ending

The original has one of the most famous endings in all of cinema. Tears in rain in and such. So this movie was gonna have a real uphill climb in that regard. While it may not reach the poetry and power of the original movie, it lands like a haymaker all the same.

Gosling deciding he is going to overcome what the world tells him he is and makes a truly human decision. He will sacrifice himself for a greater cause, but not the one that everyone else was setting him up for.

It’s a truly self-made sacrifice to save Deckard from Leto and allow Deckard to finally meet the daughter he had to let go all those years ago. Gosling has gone through the emotional ringer and has overcome destiny. He realized, by seeing a miracle, that replicants are truly alive. They aren’t less than. As he lays dying in the snow, he can die happy knowing that he lived. But there’s a sense of sadness, too, as he is just another tear in the rain.

There’s also the weirdness that the replicant uprising might be done, as the robot messiah is maybe lost in the woods now. Existence may very well be over for both humans and replicants. Who knows? All that we know is it is a very bittersweet ending and it feels truly like “Blade Runner”.


3. Is Deckard a Replicant? Maybe?

One of the most annoying things to come out of Scott’s insistence on recutting the movie in tandem with his misunderstanding of the movie he was telling was that “is Deckard a replicant” became an unending debate amongst nerds. There was always some ambiguity about it within the movie, but the arc of the movie lends itself to Deckard being human. But this question has dominated the conversation for decades, so this movie was going to have to tackle it if Harrison was coming back. And they don’t.

It’s kind of stunning how they don’t answer the question and lay the seeds to both outcomes to be equally worthy. Human or replicant, it doesn’t really matter here. What matters is that Deckard believes he’s human and he feels, so what’s the difference? And with regards to the replicant pregnancy issue, Rachel is a replicant for sure so there’s no need to answer Deckard’s existence. It’s a fairly brilliant way to circumvent the question people have been nagging about for decades and it plays perfectly into the ambiguity of Dick and “Blade Runner”.


2. The Noir Narrative is Much Stronger

The original movie plays with noir tropes and feels like a noir set in the future. But what’s weird about that is there is no mystery at play. Deckard isn’t looking into something he doesn’t know. He’s just looking for some replicants and there’s nothing more to it. Especially since we cut back and forth between Deckard and the replicants, there’s nothing we aren’t privy to. Deckard just stumbles ass backwards into the plot throughout.

This time out there is a mystery. Gosling is looking into something and we aren’t one step ahead of him by cutting to the mystery. Gosling is actually a good detective taking part in an investigation. And being that it’s noir, its plot takes a turn into conspiracy territory with power players taking part to further their own goals.

It’s like cyberpunk “Chinatown”. So while the movie may be close to three hours long, it doesn’t feel like it thanks to a plot that actually progresses naturally and gives enough time for character stuff to fit in. This is one area that is almost undoubtedly better than the original.


1. Pushes the Ideas and Themes of the Original Forward

The biggest challenge with sequels is to not feel like a bland copy of the original. There has to be a balancing act between old and new so it feels of a piece while feeling like a progression. “Blade Runner” does that in spades.

The look at technology and how it affects humanity. The very question of what makes us human. Can technology be counted as living if it has feelings, even if the feelings are programmed? Are we memories if memories can be false? What is life? All these questions and more have haunted the world of “Blade Runner” and it haunts this movie.

Giving it to Gosling as a replicant questioning his place in life is a great way to flip the narrative from the first one. Pushing the idea of replicants being living beings by having the potential to give birth is ingenious. The movie takes so many great queues from the original, flips them on their head and adds its own elements. It’s a great piece of work. Somehow, some way, we got a real “Blade Runner” movie and it is glorious.



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  • Bergkamp

    As much as I loved 2049, I couldn’t disagree more with this, in no way 2049 is better than the first one. For starters, it’s not as revolutionary and original as the first one, which made a lot of impact by being so influential in the following years. Yes, blade Runner 2049 looks pretty, but there’s not that many original tricks and signature, some of the things you see in 2049, appeared already in movies like GITS (the one with Scarlett Johansson) yes, that movie that everyone hated it!

    And while I generally liked the new OST, by any means I would considered it better and again, more unique and original than the one from Vangelis.

    Just no, and no.

    • Mortimer

      I know. Told you already my opinion about ‘2049’ in one of previous articles here. I like the movie and it has many good things in it which Villeneuve handled very well; it’s obvious he respects Ridley’s film. But when you think about it – this movie brings nothing original on the table ( lone depressed hero searching for his identity, ruthless evil corporation, high-tech sex-surrogate scene, unstoppable female icy-bitch villain, robots/androids rebel against their human masters etc). And what’s that idea about replicants having children ? That makes same sense as ageing terminators.

      Very good movie, intelligent, with interesting ideas and expanded universe but also not very original, unnecessary overlong, with not especially charismatic characters, no memorable scenes or quotes. The sequel to iconic, cult Sci-fi masterpiece nobody asked for.

      • Fabien Oman

        They did subvert the ‘chosen one’ trope creatively, and personally I found the ending genuinely moving.

        • Mortimer

          I agree that ending is genuinely moving (Joi’s “death” too), but not on the poetic, simple “Tears in Rain” level. A lot of other scenes in the movie weren’t original at all (that fight with Luv at the end ? Yawn). It seems Villeneuve played too much safe, ticking all Blade Runner boxes.
          I don’t like how it’s open for franchise now. Will the 3rd part be about replicant’s rebel against Wallace (and other humans) ? That would be lame if you ask me and it has “I’ve been there already” written all over it.

          • UberboreanFaustoAryanSupaPowa

            “I don’t like how it’s open for franchise now. Will the 3rd part be about replicant’s rebel against Wallace (and other humans) ? That would be lame if you ask me and it has “I’ve been there already” written all over it.”

            I agree. The original Blade Runner was a futuristic noir story that was small in scope that touched on religious and metaphysical themes. It was personal. Spiritual. Haunting. Beautiful. The scope didn’t involve some grand, quasi-Marxist uprising or conflict in order to make the world “right.” Nor did it it have a Dr. Evil-esque villain like 2049 had in the form of Leto (whose motives make no sense).

        • Vincenzo Politi

          “They did subvert the ‘chosen one’ trope creatively”: yeah, that was as creative as a Latin American telenovelas. The secret son, the secret daughter, the revolution… I mean, really??

        • UberboreanFaustoAryanSupaPowa

          “They did subvert the ‘chosen one’ trope creatively, and personally I found the ending genuinely moving.”

          Not really. They just re-oriented it. There’s still a ‘chosen one’. Clearly. It’s still a biblical cliche MacGuffin type of plot line that just ended up pointing toward Deckard’s daughter instead of K.

          To find the ending genuinely moving, I’d actually have to care about Gosling or old man Deckard or his daughter in the first place. Which I didn’t. I don’t even know how what’s her face is going to react to Deckard there at the end. There’s little character development to hint at what that encounter will be for either of them. It’s all so vague and confused. Gosling is not a bad actor. This isn’t on him. I don’t even blame the director. The script was a convoluted mess that made little sense and doomed the effort from the start.

  • Mortimer

    Oh boy…here we go. I was wondering when article like this will appear on ToC. And here it is, written by the worst writer on this site – the self-proclaimed “most preeminent pop-culture fanatic”.

    “The Most Original Love Scene in Recent Memory” ? This idiot obviously never saw Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’. The scene is 99% the same.
    Dude, your lists on this site are embarrassment. Do readers here a favor and stop making movie lists, please. Go back to watching superhero crap.

    • Bergkamp

      The worst part is, a lot of sites are starring to pick up on this nonsense, and whoever doesn’t share their opinion, they called them: nostalgia fags or shit like that.
      Like… really? if something came first, and made more original things, and then the latest iteration came and didn’t bring anything new to the table, then that shouldn’t be considered as a case where the first material was more iconic and different than its sequel? It’s just facts!. and not a case of nostalgia.

    • I know. We’re kind of going into Ben Lyons territory at this point.

  • Zwei


  • Mortimer

    “The original movie is one built upon a love story between a human (yeah, I said it) and a replicant. But it is a movie that is really cold and inhuman. It’s hard to really care about their love story on an emotional level.”

    See, I cared very much about Deckard’s and Rachael’s story in the 1st film. Not to mention Roy-Pris-Sebastian poignant love triangle. Does that makes me some inhuman weirdo or what ?

    Go fck yourself.

    • Lars Franssen

      Also, if it had been so hard to care about their love, how could the film have been so powerful? If the audience hadn’t invested in the characters emotionally, it would just have been a guy shooting up some machines. Personally, I care MORE in a “cold and really inhuman” setting.

      • Michael Kobe Junior

        @Lars I’m glad you said “Personally”… You go on being cold and really inhuman!!

        • Lars Franssen

          Thanks for your endorsement. Otherwise I would have felt really terrible for being so cold. You’ve really taken a load off my back.

  • colonelkurtz

    Wait, what about Jared Leto’s (usual) overacting? Doesn’t that bother anyone else. It’s the same he did for the Joker in Suicide Squad—wasn’t bad by itself, but every line and emotion just bled with “I’m trying so hard to be so cool/perfect.” Or I just can’t stand his ego anymore.

    • I don’t like Leto in particular, and he’s the character in the film I found the least interesting. However, I think the “overacting” was part of the character, who is an egocentric figure who wants to be like God, and those kind of people are usually not realist(ic) and conventional anymore… Also, I subtract from the film that Villeneuve actually had David Bowie in mind for this character – which would’ve been perfect, considering the description and characterization of that Wallace guy.

  • Lucas Corsi

    Ok.That is the list that proves ToC ‘gone to far’.
    I agree to when we talk about Blade Runner 2049,the movie is perfect,have the most stunning cinematograph in the year,but,say the movie is better than the original.You know what,maybe,but say this now is impossible,i believe,like the original Blade Runner,the movie will grow with the people by times and times,maybe in 3 or 5 years,we can talk about this,but for now,lets ‘apreciatte the art’
    Sorry about the bad english,im brazillian.

  • I would like to leave comment saying I think this is not such a bad article as most commentators are trying to make us believe.
    While “Blade Runner” has always been one of my favourite films, I always felt Ridley Scott was totally overrated as one of the “greatest directors” there are. So I fully agree with the points no. 9, 8, 7, 2 and 1 in this article. Also, I feel the ending of “Blade Runner 2049”, while not “better” than the first film’s ending, is brilliant.

    • Mortimer

      The ending is very good I agree (despite “I’ve been there many times before” fight with Luv). I loved the entire Las Vegas segment too.

  • grootrm

    Blade Runner 2049 does indeed exceed the original.

    It is actually more groundbreaking. The atmosphere and visuals in 2049 have set a new standard in cinema, and given the saturation of movies in 2017 as compared to 1982, that is a more impressive feat.

    • Mortimer


    • Sopa de Gato

      the visual are copys “from a movie made 30 years ago” hello??????? there is 0% new
      the origial one alredy settled a new type of cinema,

      • grootrm

        you are entitled to an opinion, but you are not entitled to an agreement when making such brazenly misinformed statements.

        • Mortimer

          The only one here who is making misinformed statements is you.

          “The atmosphere and visuals in 2049 have set a new standard in cinema. It is actually more groundbreaking than the original.”

          Are you for real ? Please, tell me – why would anyone take you seriously after you said such stupid thing ?

          Unless you made an unintentional mistake and wanted to say: ” “The atmosphere and visuals in Blade Runner (1982) have set a new standard in cinema” ? I understand that, it could happen to anyone.

          • grootrm

            You’re the second misinformed person now.

            Go learn from the experts and find out what it takes to accomplish what Blade Runner 2049 accomplished. Then come back here.

            Fan boy prattling? I ignore and move on

          • Mortimer

            Ah, I see…you’re one of those who advise
            skeptic “naysayers” to check out on “experts” opinion. Ok.
            2049 is a good enough movie yeah, but nothing “groundbreaking” or original about it.

  • Jules Maregiano

    Do you have to watch the movies before writing articles in here?

  • JimmyMecks

    Tron: Legacy rules tho

  • sudoshutdown

    is not better than blade runner

  • oscarseason

    behold, the single dumbest post ever. flimsy reasoning

  • UberboreanFaustoAryanSupaPowa

    The plot in the new film makes little to no sense. And the inspired imagery was actually done better in the first film and was more original in 1982. The soundtrack in the first film was also vastly superior to the garbage 2049 soundtrack.

    I honestly don’t understand how someone can claim 2049 is good with a straight face. While it had some interesting things going on, it wasn’t even really a good movie. The mess of a script doomed the actors and director right from the start.