Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 37

The Blade Runner 2049 trailer arrived earlier today and it is a glorious thing. Filled with stunning and beautiful moments, the film being advertised here certainly looks like a worthy successor to 1982’s Blade Runner, which is nothing short of a masterpiece. And since there’s so much going on here, there’s only one thing to do – we must go through the whole thing frame-by-frame.

While we aren’t privy to any spoilers (we know nothing about this film), consider this a warning: we may accidentally spoil key plot points will mulling over this trailer.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 1

Welcome back to Los Angeles. 30 years have passed since the events of the first movie (which was set in the far-flung future of 2019), but the skyline is still recognizable. And still smoggy and rain soaked and filled with buildings that look like fortresses emerging from decay. This look inspired countless other science fiction movies, but to the credit of director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins, it doesn’t look stale in any way through this trailer.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 2

At the time of the original Blade Runner‘s release, the vision of a future city filled with recognizable logos was still a fresh concept. While Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Spacey Odyssey broke ground by inserting modern company names into his film (set in the far-flung future of 2001), Ridley Scott ran with it, filling his future Los Angeles with massive advertisements that dwarfed their surroundings. And since the first movie came out in the early ’80s, Blade Runner was set in 2019 where Atari was still very much a thing…and despite all that has transpired in the real world, Blade Runner 2049 also takes place in a future where Atari is powerful enough to advertise itself alongside mammoth skyscrapers. This is the first indication in this trailer that this movie doesn’t care about creating a realistic future as much as it intends to extend the specific world introduced in the first film.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 3

While the streets of Los Angeles are grimy and filthy and bathed in neon, the interiors of the buildings belonging to the wealthy and the powerful and as austere and menacing as ever. As we will soon see, this building seems to house a company that creates replicants (robots who look like humans, live a very short lifespan, and exist to take on manual labor and other jobs people do not want). Rather appropriately, this looks like a temple – this a space built for gods, not for men.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 4

And here we find Ryan Gosling’s Agent K escorted down a lengthy stairwell, past display cases filled with replicant bodies. These bodies appear to be templates of sorts, lacking the details needed to sell them as human beings. It’s an upsetting image – they’re close enough to human to look real at a glance but treated as mere props for a hallway.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 5

Speaking of creepy, the trailer offers a look at what seems to be the “birth” of a replicant. It’s a genuinely upsetting image, with the plastic tube acting like an all-too-clinical birth canal. The room’s presentation, with its high ceilings and dramatic lighting, suggest that the person behind its design sees something almost holy in their work.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 6

Speaking of genuinely upsetting images, here is Jared Leto. We don’t know much about his character (reportedly named Wallace), but he seems to be in charge around here. Despite his simple clothing, he’s clearly a man of the future – note the glowing implant in the side of his neck. His eyes are glassy, suggesting that he’s either blind or has augmented them in some way. Can we safely assume that he’s the villain here?

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 7

“Happy birthday.” And now, our fourth creepy image in a row! While Leto’s character is offering comfort to his creation in this shot, his voice-over narration tells a different story: “Every civilization was built was built off the back of a disposable workforce.”

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 8

And now we’re back outside in the gray and rainy Los Angeles. While this giant structure doesn’t look like the police station seen in the 1982 original…

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 9

…the trailer seemingly implies that this is where Officer K is taking his orders. So maybe the LAPD upgraded things in the past few decades? Anyway, that’s Robin Wright going on about there being “an order to things” and talking about walls and generally sounding like she’s up to no good. This trailer will go on to imply that Officer K knows far less than he thinks he does and you just know that Wright is probably not giving him a complete picture.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 10

Here’s a good look at Officer K’s pistol, which is smaller and more streamlined than the bulky weapon wielded by Rick Deckard in the original movie. That gun has gone on to become a favorite amongst movie prop replica aficionados. Will this one have a similar lifespan amongst uber-nerd collectors?

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 11

Lit by moonlight and neon, Officer K looks like he’s been put through the grinder by someone. Whether intentional or not, this shot echoes the third act of the original movie, which featured Deckard getting beaten to a pulp by a series of opponents. The best movie stars are those who make head and facial wounds look good.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 12

The past 30 years have also seen Los Angeles’ advertising get a significant makeover. Holograms invade the streets and tower over pedestrians, amazing images that don’t even receive a second glance from the jaded masses. The potential for world building here is astonishing.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 13

While the world of Blade Runner 2049 is rainy and gray, it’s also not without color. Take this gorgeous rooftop shot, where green, red, and white neon bounce off one another, lending an artificial life to a dreary night. This movie looks spectacular.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 14

Here’s Cuban actress Ana de Armas as Joi, another character we know very little about. However, the fact that she’s meeting with an LAPD Blade Runner on the roof in the middle of the rain certainly implies that things aren’t going well in her life. Is it possible that she’s a replicant? And if so, her engaging in a romantic moment with Officer K suggests a role similar to Sean Young’s character in the original movie.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer breakdown 15

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Las Vegas. While Los Angeles has boomed into a monolithic dystopia, it looks like the once popular tourist destination has crumbled. However, Officer K has business here: he has to find Rick Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years. And for whatever reason, he’s hiding out here.

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