Blade Runner 2049 SPOILERS THREAD (stay out if you haven't seen it).

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MKS
I think that's why the ending didn't work for you. You took an incredibly pessimistic look as to the assessment of K. This is the low point that populates his minds with doubts. Is he special? Is Joi's love real? Is he just a hired killer? But in his choice (something he's not supposed to be able to do), he kills Luv and saves Deckard and gives him that ride you were mentioning. If we are to believe Deckard's daughter IS special, then is the man who saved her father and returned her to him not "special?" This is akin to someone getting hung up on Deckard being a human or a replicant. The point is that the difference is negligible as they've reached a point where humanity isn't exclusive to humans. The fact that he COULD be is all the point needed. K is special in that way that he found his humanity and gave his life for something larger than himself.

No, it isn't the reason why.

And the film makes a point of telling K he is not special, rather brutally. "Aww, I see you thought it was you. It's OK, we all want to think we're special."

K does not violate his programming in killing Joi. Joi is just another replicant,and K is not a Wallace agent, but LAPD agent. He should have no inbuilt qualms about saving Deckard.

What makess K's arc poignant is the deflation. At the end of the Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, for example, there is a beautiful moment. Deckard finds a frog (an actual living thing in this dead world) and marvels over it (Rachael has murdered his goat at this point). It's all he has now to keep going, to keep believing. He takes it home. His wife turns it over and sees a tiny latch for the batteries and decides to keep the knowledge away from him. It's touching because it is desire without delivery.

K is real enough that we feel his pain. If they had ended the film where the hologram tells us he is a good Joe, that would be perfect. He was basically real enough to sense desire and loss and longing and he had a real-ish (maybe not) relationship with a hologram. That was a great moment.

We don't really know Deckard in this film. We don't really know his daughter. K doesn't really have a strong relationship with Deckard. K does not have to struggle and stress and strive to take Deckard to Memories R Us. He just has to drive him there. Batty sacrifices his rage, his revenge, all of his shattered plans on an altar of forgiveness when he saves Deckard. K just drops him off. No need to make a meal out of it.

Would have been better to have K tell Deckard with his dying breath where is daughter was and just let Deckard drive himself there than to just drop him off and make snow angels.

The moment fell flat for me because it wasn't really needed at that point, and because the obvious reference to the original film was not apt.




?
Oct 11, 2017 10:51 PM
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MKS
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Puffin Nubbins
MKS
I think that's why the ending didn't work for you. You took an incredibly pessimistic look as to the assessment of K. This is the low point that populates his minds with doubts. Is he special? Is Joi's love real? Is he just a hired killer? But in his choice (something he's not supposed to be able to do), he kills Luv and saves Deckard and gives him that ride you were mentioning. If we are to believe Deckard's daughter IS special, then is the man who saved her father and returned her to him not "special?" This is akin to someone getting hung up on Deckard being a human or a replicant. The point is that the difference is negligible as they've reached a point where humanity isn't exclusive to humans. The fact that he COULD be is all the point needed. K is special in that way that he found his humanity and gave his life for something larger than himself.

No, it isn't the reason why.

And the film makes a point of telling K he is not special, rather brutally. "Aww, I see you thought it was you. It's OK, we all want to think we're special."

K does not violate his programming in killing Joi. Joi is just another replicant,and K is not a Wallace agent, but LAPD agent. He should have no inbuilt qualms about saving Deckard.

What makess K's arc poignant is the deflation. At the end of the Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, for example, there is a beautiful moment. Deckard finds a frog (an actual living thing in this dead world) and marvels over it (Rachael has murdered his goat at this point). It's all he has now to keep going, to keep believing. He takes it home. His wife turns it over and sees a tiny latch for the batteries and decides to keep the knowledge away from him. It's touching because it is desire without delivery.

K is real enough that we feel his pain. If they had ended the film where the hologram tells us he is a good Joe, that would be perfect. He was basically real enough to sense desire and loss and longing and he had a real-ish (maybe not) relationship with a hologram. That was a great moment.

We don't really know Deckard in this film. We don't really know his daughter. K doesn't really have a strong relationship with Deckard. K does not have to struggle and stress and strive to take Deckard to Memories R Us. He just has to drive him there. Batty sacrifices his rage, his revenge, all of his shattered plans on an altar of forgiveness when he saves Deckard. K just drops him off. No need to make a meal out of it.


Would have been better to have K tell Deckard with his dying breath where is daughter was and just let Deckard drive himself there than to just drop him off and make snow angels.

The moment fell flat for me because it wasn't really needed at that point, and because the obvious reference to the original film was not apt.




?

This is precisely my point. K is the focal point because he IS special. One doesn't need to be the fated hero, the father of the savior or even the savior of the race to be special. Without him and his intimate choices and sacrifice, there would be no savior narrative to occur. It's his instrumental value that transcends any preordained or intrinsic value.
He's not special in a grand narrative sense but that's beside the point that the film and I are trying to make (as egotistical as that sounds). Much like the Batty monologue about seeing things and being tears in the rain, he touches on the impermanence and seeming lack of importance that defines humanity and makes those moments so potent and "special."
Oct 12, 2017 12:38 AM
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So does this K guy eat Special K cereal?
Oct 12, 2017 4:38 AM
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last splashSo does this K guy eat Special K cereal?

No, K is NOT special.
Oct 12, 2017 5:10 AM
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I was thinking about the scene where K is contemplating the ability to alter documents, and flashing back to the documents about how the sister had died, and I started to think that perhaps there was a chance that instead of simply altering the gender of the surviving twin if the death had never occurred at all, and both brother and sister survived, and there'd be a chance that K was the brother with a real memory. His records could have also been altered to give him a legitimate replicant background, making him untraceable. The one-eyed lady could have lied to him (since she'd know both twins survived and helped doctor documents) in order to keep him from assuming the role as leader of the replicant uprising. Killing Deckard would have also made more sense for this consolidation.

I guess the film closed the door on this possibility, but I still think it would have been an intriguing twist.
Oct 12, 2017 10:10 AM
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There has been no other movie for which I had bigger trepidations for. Blade Runner is one of my all-time favourite movies and was absolutely crucial during the very early days of my "immersive" film education. There is still no other world that has triggered so much admiration from both a thematic and visual point of view, and has proven to be an incentive for my own creative imagination.

Which is why I originally thought the sequel was completely unnecessary and, most importantly, would ruin the many existential ambiguities of the first one. At first, I childishly refused to even watch it. But then I saw a brief Mark Kermode clip where he elaborated on the live discussion he moderated between Ridley Scott and Denis Villenueve, where Scott, in his typical annoying stubborness, was adamant in labelling Deckard a replicant (reducing - for me - a lot of the emotional impact of the first film and the main blurring irony of the human "hero" acting robotic as opposed to the replicant "villain" behaving human, not to mention it raises tons of plot problems and character inconsistencies), while Villeneuve replied he thinks it's far more ambiguous than that. Mind you, I don't think my interpretation of Deckard as human is the "right" or the "definitive" one - what I do have a problem with is when a director is being so possessive about one "true" interpretation after-the fact, especially since the actor playing the part is on-the-record as playing him differently. Additionally, considering the thematic depth and astonishing visual palette of Villeneuve's earlier work (big fan of Sicario, Enemy and Polytechnique), it was time to give Villeneuve a benefit of the doubt.

Since my expectations were somewhat low, I was positively surprised by many of the choices Villeneuve and the writers had made. The visual and auditive experience was very powerful, with a production design that both seemed like a logical continuation of the first one and delved into new and exciting urban landscapes, with Roger Deakins giving it a desolate, dried out look with masterful, vertigo-like camera movements, accompanying the terrifying sound design which was powerful without seeming (too) overbearing. The score was a clever combination of atmospheric new stuff and touches of the legendary Vangelis score, which makes a crucial full comeback in the film's admittedly very satisfying ending.

I was expecting the script to be the Achilles' heel of the project and there are certainly some plot convenience issues I will have to look more closely in the 2nd viewing (especially didn't like that "replicants can't lie" silliness that lets K off the hook way too easily), along with certain scenes which rang false on some occasions, leading characters to a frequent humourless trap of expository dialogue. In the first movie, immense talents like Rutger Hauer and Brion James brought with their eccentries so much humour and playfulness to what could have been a dire movie. The sequel doesn't have that strength going for it. There were also some cheesy action sequences that seemed like they were architectured in a way that the popcorn audience doesn't lose their patience, and the antagonists are surely not nearly as watchable as the aforementioned ones from the first film. Jared Leto's old stereotypical villain with global domination issues isn't nearly as riveting as Hauer's "cyber-Darwinist" Batty who simply wanted to live beyond the time that was given to him. Sylvia Hoeks' merciless Luv had a scary psychological side to her that was unfortunately undermined in that popcorn climactic fight.

But the film makes a clever choice in focusing first and foremost on its two protagonists, and in developing their arcs, subverting many of the expectations and cliches. I was cynically expecting the film to go into a traditional third act trap with Deckard and K uniting and saving the day - thank goodness that wasn't the case. Instead, the movie's key twist gives Gosling's character an emotional depth and journey which rang true for me in the end. The fake love story with Joi had an innocence and sweetness to it that makes K's ultimate fate even more tragic. His death scene in the snow - while not as striking as Hauer's legendary "tears in rain" speech - and subsequent Deckard's scene which gives Harrison Ford the culmination of the most emotional and compelling material he worked with after decades (special nod to that "her eyes were green" scene with the intentionally horribly fake Rachael) - give the movie the emotional weight and the pay-off it needed after two and a half hours.

Thematically, it blurs even further the difference between replicants and humans, making the point more obsolete, although I will say that it again works for me better with Deckard as a human, where the child of a replicant and a human gives the final point to the dilemma of whether being born defines someone's humanity, and with the symbolic unity of two "species". Deckard's journey mirrors that of K's in a way that Deckard finally "succumbs" to what he had always resisted - his loving humanity in that final reunion scene. K on the other hand finds his humanity in the fact that he reunites Deckard with his daughter, sacrificing his mission, but also his happiness, for others. The first movie followed a man acting like a replicant. The second movie follows a story of a replicant finding a human being inside.

Ultimately, it's a film that respects its predecessor and admirably explores its existential themes, inventing a compelling and oddly emotional story in the process. It keeps the essential dilemma about its central character ambiguous, but muddies the waters further in a way that is clever and not farfetched. It has a both fulfilling and equivocal ending for which Villeneuve has become quite an expert for. It's far from perfect and it falls into certain traps the first film had carefully avoided (way too many poker-faced characters with expository lines, silly and out-of-character action sequences, plot conveniences), but it has done what I thought would have been impossible - it enriched the experience of the first film instead of diminishing it.

Oct 12, 2017 11:56 AM
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Puffin Nubbins

And the film makes a point of telling K he is not special, rather brutally. "Aww, I see you thought it was you. It's OK, we all want to think we're special."

K does not violate his programming in killing Joi. Joi is just another replicant,and K is not a Wallace agent, but LAPD agent. He should have no inbuilt qualms about saving Deckard.

What makess K's arc poignant is the deflation.


K is not special in the sense the film initially projects. That's the reveal, and unquestionably a major point in his arc. It was very satisfying to see the film undercut the messiah narrative that it was developing, which I found increasingly implausible and uninteresting. The effect is a welcome comment on self-delusion, on the kind of narcissistic narratives we construct for ourselves that feature us as protagonists at the center. It holds even if our unreliable memories and disposition to tell ourselves these stories are by design, or due to basic facts about the nature of our programming.

What makes K's decision to save Deckard and Ana significant, then, is not that he's the messiah of the freedom movement, but that his action was volitional and largely unnecessary (there were available alternatives) and potentially high risk.

K was faced with a decision that had myriad implications. He was under orders by Joshi to kill Deckard and Rachael's offspring. Once discovering that it may be him, and given his increasing anxieties about potentially taking a person's life, he disobeys those orders and lies to Joshi. But once discovering that he's not Deckard's son, and after losing Joi, he hits rock bottom, appearing to even contemplate suicide. For me (personally), in this moment, K was at a powerful crossroads.

At this point, K could simply disappear completely, regardless of what happens to anyone. Or, in light of his soul crushing discovery, he could still carry out his orders to kill Ana and subvert his CO's fears of societal collapse. This would in effect amount to complying with Joshi's dehumanizing worldview and at least tacitly accepting his status as slave. He would be resigning himself to the perception that he's nothing more than a government assassin, a soulless cog in the machine. But by carrying out his orders, he also risks making an enemy of the Wallace Corporation, who want both Deckard and Ana. So he could refrain, but carrying out his orders anyways may be an acceptable alternative for K, since the Wallace Corporation are responsible for Joi's death. This could recolor his decision in a more vengeful light. Alternatively, he could take up the cause of the freedom movement. Freysa says to K that he should kill Deckard if it's to prevent Wallace from getting to Deckard and finding out more about Ana.

So, K has many options, and there's quite a bit at stake in his decision. Each decision would reflect a different fact about the kind of person K is, the version of himself he wants to realize in light of everything he's discovered, experienced, and ultimately lost. He, at once, may have an incentive to disappear, to kill Ana or Deckard, or to let Wallace have them both. The highest risk route, or in any case, what appears to be the most difficult route, would presumably be to save Deckard's life and reunite him with his daughter, thus both violating his orders and risk making an enemy of the Wallace Corporation

But that's precisely his choice. The choice needn't simply reflect his support for the replicant cause and freedom movement. He could've just let Deckard drown in that ship, which would be the surest way of preventing Deckard's capture. But, rather, he makes the more costly decision to save Deckard and attempt to cover his tracks in the process. In this choice, K create's his own path, finding autonomy and meaning not in the classist vision of Joshi, nor acquiescing to the authoritarianism of Wallace, nor even the uncompromising vision of Freysa, as each amounts to a worldview that is compatible with the destruction of a person's life. He rather takes on his own compassionate vision to save a family. K plausibly sees in Deckard a reflection of himself. He's a man who may not be his father, but who, like him, has a broken humanity. He's been living his life in the shadows, arguably drinking way his regret and shame, and is seeking reconnection and final redemption. K delivers Deckard that opportunity (imo extending Deckard's arc), and by extension, yielding the same for himself. He finds his soul despite the disappointing reality that he's not the freedom movement's messiah, and despite the crushing reality that his memories are a lie, that he doesn't have a real family, or even a partner for that matter. Though his past is largely a fiction, this choice is his own.
Oct 12, 2017 10:05 PM
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K is not special in the sense the film initially projects. That's the reveal, and unquestionably a major point in his arc. It was very satisfying to see the film undercut the messiah narrative that it was developing, which I found increasingly implausible and uninteresting. The effect is a welcome comment on self-delusion, on the kind of narcissistic narratives we construct for ourselves that feature us as protagonists at the center. It holds even if our unreliable memories and our disposition to tell ourselves these stories are by design, or due to basic facts about the nature of our programming.

So far, so good.


What makes K's decision to save Deckard and Ana significant, then, is not that he's the messiah of the freedom movement, but that his action was volitional and largely unnecessary (there were available alternatives) and potentially high risk.

He didn't know who the child was until the very end. His original concern was that he was the child he was looking for, and so he was covering his ass with the Chief of Police. He tells the chief the child is dead, not to protect her but to protect himself. Once the chief accepts his story, he is no longer trying to save the child. Indeed, he puts Ana at risk by attempting to save Deckard instead of kill him as his revolutionary buddies ordered him to.?

That he tries to save Deckard is nice, but he is not violating any of his programming mandates to do so.

K was faced with a decision that had a myriad of implications. He was under orders by Joshi to kill Deckard and Rachael's offspring. Once discovering that it may be him, and given his increasing anxieties about potentially taking a person's life, he disobeys those orders and lies to Joshi. But once discovering that he's not Deckard's son, and after losing Joi, he hits rock bottom, appearing to even contemplate suicide. For me (personally), in this moment, K was at a powerful crossroads.

I don't think so. Crosroad forking from what to what? What is his great dilemma? He's got nothing to lose (he's lost everything) and he's taken a shine to Deckard. He can prevent robo-exploitation by saving him.

At this point, K could simply disappear completely, regardless of what happens to anyone. Or, in light of his soul crushing discovery, he could still carry out his orders to kill Ana and subvert his CO's fears of societal collapse. This would in effect amount to complying with Joshi's dehumanizing worldview and at least tacitly accepting his status as slave (perhaps in part out of fear), resigning himself to the perception that he's nothing more than a government assassin, a soulless cog in the machine. But by carrying out his orders, he also risks making an enemy of the Wallace Corporation, who want both Deckard and Ana. So he could refrain, but carrying out his orders anyways may be an acceptable alternative for K, since the Wallace Corporation are responsible for Joi's death. This could recolor his decision in a more vengeful light. Alternatively, he could take up the cause of the freedom movement. Freysa says to K that he should kill Deckard if it's to prevent Wallace from getting to Deckard and finding out more about Ana.

It makes no sense that K would want to kill Ana. He doesn't even realize she is the one until the very end and he's already tied up that loose end. He is suspended from the force and no longer has any institutional mandate to kill anyone.

The choice he makes is rather obvious to me. He splits the difference with a rescue attempt.

So, K has many options, and there's quite a bit at stake in his decision.


Not really many options and he's got nothing left to lose at this point. LAPD is going to retire him after his next baseline and his main squeeze got crunched. He's got no job, no lover, and no future. He has no real stakes to lose.

Each decision would reflect a different fact about the kind of person K is, the version of himself he wants to realize in light of everything he's discovered, experienced, and ultimately lost. He, at once, may have an incentive to disappear, to kill Ana or Deckard, or to let Wallace have them both. The highest risk route, or in any case, what appears to be the most difficult route, would presumably be to save Deckard's life and reunite him with his daughter, thus both violating his orders and risk making an enemy of the Wallace Corporation


Meh, he's dead anyway. The most difficult act is just him risking death before he gets retired by another Blade Runner.

But that's precisely his choice. The choice needn't simply reflect his support for the replicant cause and freedom movement. He could've just let Deckard drown in that ship, which would be the surest way of preventing Deckard's capture. But, rather, he makes the more costly decision to save Deckard and attempt to cover his tracks in the process. In this choice, K create's his own path, finding autonomy and meaning not in the classist vision of Joshi, nor acquiescing to the authoritarian vision of Wallace, nor even the tribal vision of Freysa, as each amounts to a worldview that is compatible with the destruction of a person's life.


This is a tour de force of over-analysis.

Oct 12, 2017 10:31 PM
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Puffin Nubbins
That he tries to save Deckard is nice, but he is not violating any of his programming mandates to do so.


He violates his orders when he lies to Joshi because he thinks that he might be Deckard's son. At the end, my suggestion is simply that he could have recommitted to his duties, since he realizes he is no longer special and that his memories are a lie. He could have made good on his original lie to Joshi. It would essentially be a kind of fatalism, simply accepting his role as nothing more than a blade runner. I don't think this route was likely, but I wanted to highlight how certain choices can reflect a different sort of arc.

Puffin Nubbins
Not really many options and he's got nothing left to lose at this point. LAPD is going to retire him after his next baseline and his main squeeze got crunched. He's got no job, no lover, and no future. He has no real stakes to lose.


He could simply turn himself in. Or he could flee, potentially escape the LAPD. But he decides to intervene. Now he's got a problem with both the LAPD and The Wallace Corporation. And by helping Deckard live, he doesn't merely take the simpler, uncompromising route directed by Freysa and simply fight for the replicant cause, but makes his own choice. His choice is to preserve life, and to give a daughter something K thought he never had yet for a moment thought he might (a father) and a man a chance to make right potential regrets. This is what gives his choice weight to me.

Puffin NubbinsThis is a tour de force of over-analysis.


I disagree.

Oct 12, 2017 11:23 PM
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I will open by stating that I am hearing reports from others that K's death and sacrifice was satisfying to them,so this gives me hope that my views may change after a future rewatch.

Israfelmy suggestion is simply that he could have recommitted to his duties, since he realizes he is no longer special and that his memories are a lie.


But he's not a cop anymore. He has no legal mandate to act in any capacity in any case. The only duty to which he could recommit would be to get another VK test which would show is still on baseline and get himself retired. That's it. Finis.

IsrafelHe could have made good on his original lie to Joshi. It would essentially be a kind of fatalism, simply accepting his role as nothing more than a blade runner. I don't think this route was likely, but I wanted to highlight how certain choices can reflect a different sort of arc.


But he's not even a Blade Runner at this point. He has nothing to make good. Even if he were, this is so unlikely and unpalatable a choice, that I don't really see how this is a substantive competing option.


IsrafelHe could simply turn himself in.


He could, but this would be out of character for him. He's already lied to his boss to try to save his own life. Given the chance to do a little good or just lay down and die, he did what most people would do.?

IsrafelOr he could flee, potentially escape the LAPD.


This is a more compelling option. However, he knows better than anyone how hard it is to run. And what would he be running to? He has nothing, in particular, to live for. He is not special. His girl is dead. He does have a strong drive toward self-preservation, so this at least makes sense as an option, but he would have to know that long-term such flight would be futile.

Israfel But he decides to intervene. Now he's got a problem with both the LAPD and The Wallace Corporation.



Well, the Wallace Corporation did fire a bunch missiles at him, and Luv did kick his ass, and she did murder his girl. It's not hard to do the motivational math here.

Israfel And by helping Deckard live, he doesn't merely take the simpler, uncompromising route directed by Freysa and simply fight for the replicant cause, but makes his own choice.



What does he owe Freysa? Who the hell is she to him? She has NO special influence or relationship with him. She give him bad news and sounds slightly mocking when she says. "Oh, you thought it was you..." As Han Solo would say, "I'm not in it for your revolution, sweetheart." And she is telling him to do something he doesn't want to do.

Israfel His choice is to preserve life, and to give a daughter something K thought he never had yet for a moment thought he might (a father) and a man a chance to make right potential regrets. This is what gives his choice weight to me.


He really only has two (relatively) appealing options. Run like hell or help Deckard out. The former would be doomed and pointless and his life up to this point has been meaningless and even when he thought it might be meaningful, it turned out he was wrong. He knows running would be futile and that someone like him would collect his scalp. His alternative is the only meaningful option on the table.

At bottom, he's not making some great sacrifice or surprising us or unveiling some huge redemption a la Batty. He's simply massively screwed, so he is doing an old man a solid before he dies.

I mean, it's kind of nice. We all love Indiana Solo, so we want to see the old man live, and so we're touched by filmic emotional memory that K would help him, I guess. I just didn't need to see him sitting outside a building playing in the snow while the Roy Batty music is being piped in. The moment was too long for me. The comparison was too direct. The moment too weak in comparison to the original.

Oct 13, 2017 12:27 AM
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Puffin NubbinsI will open by stating that I am hearing reports from others that K's death and sacrifice was satisfying to them,so this gives me hope that my views may change after a future rewatch.



Nice. I need a rewatch as well.

Puffin Nubbins

But he's not a cop anymore. He has no legal mandate to act in any capacity in any case. The only duty to which he could recommit would be to get another VK test which would show is still on baseline and get himself retired. That's it. Finis.


He had 48 hours to make good on his baseline. Plausibly, in my view, if he let his disappointment crush him, he would no longer have a concern for humanity. In theory, he could then pass his baseline test.

Puffin Nubbins
He could, but this would be out of character for him. He's already lied to his boss to try to save his own life. Given the chance to do a little good or just lay down and die, he did what most people would do.


He lied to save his own life, not another's. He's a blade runner. He kills replicants for a living. Prior to his discoveries, it's not clear why he would have any incentive to help replicants, Deckard, and Ana, and it's not clear he thinks Deckard is even human.

His discoveries and most recent experiences are why he made the more human choice, but his character seems to express uncertainty about his path. After learning about the falsity of his memories and being released from capture, we see him basically off the hook, free to go and do whatever he wants. When we see him staring at the giant sized facsimile of Joi, being reminded both of her death and that he's just any 'ole "Joe" for any generic "Joi", we see him at rock bottom. During this entire sequence through to when he's holding the gun and looks down at it, the suggestion seems to be that he was on the verge of resignation, or that he had doubt and uncertainty about his fate or what he will do next. But then it hits him.


Puffin Nubbins
This is a more compelling option. However, he knows better than anyone how hard it is to run. And what would he be running to? He has nothing, in particular, to live for. He is not special. His girl is dead. He does have a strong drive toward self-preservation, so this at least makes sense as an option, but he would have to know that long-term such flight would be futile.


I'm less sure. As a hunter, he also knows better than anyone how to survive and evade a blade runner. Like Deckard. But this is noir. The protagonists in noir rarely have much to live for. They live miserable, disaffected lives, facing constant disappointment and often nearing total self-destruction. The options are going to be ultimately bleak no matter what route they take, to the extent they have them, but that doesn't prevent different actions from reflecting different interpretations of the characters' choices.

It's often the case, as I think it is here, a matter of whether or not the protagonist is going to be defeated by their circumstances. This happens in virtue of the various ways they might fail to overcome their disaffection (by say, cowardice, ambivalence, resignation, murder, suicide, death), or whether they will make a choice that affirms life, meaning, or hope (by say, courage, sacrifice, compassion, protest), even when things might seem pointless and inevitably doomed. We can imagine, then, an ambivalent, disaffected survivalist, seeking to extend their life just for the mere sake of it. Or one who opts for resignation instead (a reckless death, suicide, etc).

But I think K is able to find value in life despite everything that's happened to him. He's able to affirm the preservation of life, despite losing everything, despite his enslavement, despite the compelling fiction that he or others like him only have lives if they are products of reproduction, and despite the fact that he's lived a life that has centered on the destruction of others. That's the significance of the choice for his character. He has nothing, but makes meaning out of emptiness and loss, creates life out of the ashes.

As for Wallace Corp, yes, they rough him up, but if he let them get away and stayed off radar, they don't really have any reason at all to target him (as in say hunt him were he to flee).


Puffin Nubbins

He really only has two (relatively) appealing options. Run like hell or help Deckard out. The former would be doomed and pointless and his life up to this point has been meaningless and even when he thought it might be meaningful, it turned out he was wrong. He knows running would be futile and that someone like him would collect his scalp. His alternative is the only meaningful option on the table.

At bottom, he's not making some great sacrifice or surprising us or unveiling some huge redemption a la Batty. He's simply massively screwed, so he is doing an old man a solid before he dies.

I mean, it's kind of nice. We all love Indiana Solo, so we want to see the old man live, and so we're touched by filmic emotional memory that K would help him, I guess. I just didn't need to see him sitting outside a building playing in the snow while the Roy Batty music is being piped in. The moment was too long for me. The comparison was too direct. The moment too weak in comparison to the original.



I'm not surprised that he helped Deckard. It's an organic conclusion from how they developed his character. But I can see how his arc could have been carried out in different ways.

As for Freysa, I am not convinced K doesn't care about the replicant movement. His experiences in the film have broadened his previously narrow view of the world. He has his relationship with Joi, and by proxy, a unique connection with Mariette. He learns how Deckard, a former blade runner, falls in love with a replicant. He now knows that replicants can reproduce. He has seen a resistance movement form around this symbol of hope and possibility. I think given these experiences, K has plenty of reasons to help the replicants. He has reason to come to terms with all of those of his own kind he has killed (which he is rebuked for early in the film). He has significant grounds for regret.

Much of what I find compelling in his arc is the empathy in his action. He identifies at some level with Deckard. He identifies at some level with Ana. Especially Ana, in that he literally shares memories with her and possibly other replicants out there. She is a part of him, and he her. He can see Ana's feeling of loss and abandonment, and he can see the opportunity to help her fill that void, and which plausibly is also an act of forgiveness. He can see in the replicants with whom he shares an experience of implanted memories the trauma and struggle for identity. He sees in Deckard regret, and an opportunity to release him from those regrets. This is a deeply empathetic experience. And I think it's what ultimately motivates him to act. If you delete all these facts, we don't have any reason or evidence to think K would do anything for anyone except for himself. Even if one read his actions in the end as an inevitable consequence of these facts, it would not diminish them for me. I would find them to be filled with meaning and substance for these very reasons.

BTW, I don't necessarily care for the reference to Batty's ending. Batty's ending is simply different and better. But I still value the arc represented in this ending.
Oct 13, 2017 3:11 AM
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Izzy BlackHe identifies at some level with Ana. Especially Ana, in that he literally shares memories with her and possibly other replicants out there.

I also had a question about this, as to how strange it was for Ana to use one of her real memories to implant rather than the ones that she takes such joy in imagining and creating. Was K one of her first implants? How many other replicants did she share her own, real memories with? Was it deliberate, in order for one of these replicants to eventually solve this puzzle?

Maybe I'm still holding out some hope of finding something "special" about K in this grand design. But I agree that his death is significant and resonant because, whether through his altruism or autonomy, he found what he felt was a soul, which, short of a messiah-complex, is special enough to validate himself with a significance reserved for human experience.
Oct 13, 2017 3:28 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
I also had a question about this, as to how strange it was for Ana to use one of her real memories to implant rather than the ones that she takes such joy in imagining and creating. ?Was K one of her first implants? ?How many other replicants did she share her own, real memories with? ?Was it deliberate, in order for one of these replicants to eventually solve this puzzle?


It's partly for this reason I think K's act was even partly one of forgiveness. He has grounds to feel wronged by Ana, by implanting trauma in him. But under a different interpretation, she provided him with a certain sort of meaning. He can also perhaps identify with projecting onto others in a way that in the end is harmful (Joi's death).
Oct 13, 2017 3:38 AM
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Izzy BlackIt's partly for this reason I think K's act was even partly one of forgiveness. He has grounds to feel wronged by Ana, by implanting trauma in him. But under a different interpretation, she provided him with a certain sort of meaning. He can also perhaps identify with projecting onto others in a way that in the end is harmful (Joi's death).

That's fine for K, but I still don't quite understand Ana's motivation to do it in the first place. Was she under a deadline or something? Considering how she finds so much of her own personal meaning in creating new memories for replicants, why would she implant one of her own, and especially an unpleasant one? It's not consistent to her character, and it almost seems a bit too convenient for the plot that a random, unethical implant would be the unraveling of the story's main puzzle.
Oct 13, 2017 3:48 AM
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IsrafelHe had 48 hours to make good on his baseline. Plausibly, in my view, if he let his disappointment crush him, he would no longer have a concern for humanity. In theory, he could then pass his baseline test.



Entirely speculative.

We only know that he is way off baseline and that he has experienced even more emotional trauma. The question is whether he has a rational basis for assuming that he could zero out in a short window.

IsrafelHis discoveries and most recent experiences are why he made the more human choice, but his character seems to express uncertainty about his path. After learning about the falsity of his memories and being released from capture, we see him basically off the hook, free to go and do whatever he wants. When we see him staring at the giant sized facsimile of Joi, being reminded both of her death and that he's just any 'ole "Joe" for any generic "Joi", we see him at rock bottom. During this entire sequence through to when he's holding the gun and looks down at it, the suggestion seems to be that he was on the verge of resignation, or that he had doubt and uncertainty about his fate or what he will do next. But then it hits him.



I don't think he's on the verge of resignation here. He's resigned. He's experiencing ego-death here.?

IsrafelI'm less sure. As a hunter, he also knows better than anyone how to survive and evade a blade runner. Like Deckard. But this is noir. The protagonists in noir rarely have much to live for. They live miserable, disaffected lives, facing constant disappointment and often nearing total self-destruction. The options are going to be ultimately bleak no matter what route they take, to the extent they have them, but that doesn't prevent different actions from reflecting different interpretations of the characters' choices.



Well, he's got two reasons not to run. He's got nothing to run for. He's not likely to get away with it. Even if we doubt the latter, there is still the former.

IsrafelIt's often the case, as I think it is here, a matter of whether or not the protagonist is going to be defeated by their circumstances. This happens in virtue of the various ways they might fail to overcome their disaffection (by say, cowardice, ambivalence, resignation, murder, suicide, death), or whether they will make a choice that affirms life, meaning, or hope (by say, courage, sacrifice, compassion, protest), even when things might seem pointless and inevitably doomed. We can imagine, then, an ambivalent, disaffected survivalist, seeking to extend their life just for the mere sake of it. Or one who opts for resignation instead (a reckless death, suicide, etc).



Well, he flirted with a reckless death in his rescue of Deckard after being told he's not a real-born boy and meeting the giant hologram. After that doesn't take him out, he's left with one more move.

IsrafelBut I think K is able to find value in life despite everything that's happened to him.



Sure, he's discovered "a miracle". He's discovered value in life (in general), but his life (in particular) is totally screwed.

IsrafelHe's able to affirm the preservation of life, despite losing everything, despite his enslavement, despite the compelling fiction that he or others like him only have lives if they are products of reproduction, and despite the fact that he's lived a life that has centered on the destruction of others.



I think the weakness of the film is the premium/weight which is placed upon "the miracle".? It does not make sense in terms of the humanity test. The first film established their humanity. It does not make sense from a production standpoint. A capitalist wants planned obsolescence and control over the product cycle. Wallace, of course, is whining about the need to people worlds, but we already have a way to people worlds. We can use people. The breed like roaches and they're almost as robust. At the point that Replicants are indistinguishable in all particulars from humans, just use humans. And spare me the "muscle power" argument. We have machines to make up for all that.

Beyond this, once Replicants are breeding, you are going to get all defects involved in shuffling genes. And God knows what sorts of genetic disorders these things will have when they procreate.

IsrafelThat's the significance of the choice for his character. He has nothing, but makes meaning out of emptiness and loss, creates life out of the ashes.



Meh, he has nothing, but does a solid for people who still have a chance at some happiness and meaning. Again, it's great and all, but don't play the Batty music and make me spend so much time with him looking at the snow.

IsrafelI'm not surprised that he helped Deckard. It's an organic conclusion from how they developed his character. But I can see how his arc could have been carried out in different ways.


I'm not surprised either. I am just not so blown away by it that I want the sappy music, the sappy snow, extended over several beats.
?
IsrafelAs for Freysa, I am not convinced K doesn't care about the replicant movement.



The problem is that you don't have enough to really make a conclusive argument to the contrary. At most, your not convinced that he's not all in.

My question is, why would he be?

IsrafelMuch of what I find compelling in his arc is the empathy in his action. He identifies at some level with Deckard. He identifies at some level with Ana. Especially Ana, in that he literally shares memories with her and possibly other replicants out there. She is a part of him, and he her. He can see Ana's feeling of loss and abandonment, and he can see the opportunity to help her fill that void, and which plausibly is also an act of forgiveness. He can see in the replicants with whom he shares an experience of implanted memories the trauma and struggle for identity. He sees in Deckard regret, and an opportunity to release him from those regrets. This is a deeply empathetic experience. And I think it's what ultimately motivates him to act. If you delete all these facts, we don't have any reason or evidence to think K would do anything for anyone except for himself. Even if one read his actions in the end as an inevitable consequence of these facts, it would not diminish them for me. I would find them to be filled with meaning and substance for these very reasons.



Yeah, I don't think we disagree about the arc. I just didn't like how they made a meal out of his exit.


IsrafelBTW, I don't necessarily care for the reference to Batty's ending. Batty's ending is simply different and better. But I still value the arc represented in this ending.



Sure. Like I said. I just didn't like the snow moment. It was too much for me. For me, the climax for K is the Joi hologram. That was a great kick in the ribs.

Oct 13, 2017 5:48 AM
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The movie bored me to sleep.? #1 mistake a movie must NEVER do is bore the audience.? It's way too long.??
PS: only 4 people in theater.
Oct 13, 2017 3:00 PM
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romphotogThe movie bored me to sleep.? #1 mistake a movie must NEVER do is bore the audience.? It's way too long.??
PS: only 4 people in theater.

What gives me hope for this film someday achieving "classic" status is that its "sins" are the same sins as the original.
Oct 13, 2017 3:54 PM
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Oct 13, 2017 4:34 PM
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romphotogThe movie bored me to sleep.? #1 mistake a movie must NEVER do is bore the audience.? It's way too long.??
PS: only 4 people in theater.

Is this guy Russian or homo?
Oct 13, 2017 4:43 PM
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MellowAfternoon
romphotogThe movie bored me to sleep.? #1 mistake a movie must NEVER do is bore the audience.? It's way too long.??
PS: only 4 people in theater.

Is this guy Russian or homo?

yes.
Oct 13, 2017 5:17 PM
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