FOOT FIST FRIDAYS: Gosling & Bautista have a Violent Disagreement in the Sci-Fi Epic BLADE RUNNER 2049!

By: The Cinema Drunkie

Welcome to FOOT FIST FRIDAYS! A weekly dose of fight action where the experts share their thoughts on some of the greatest scenes of fisticuffs in action cinema history!

So the trailer for the highly anticipated DUNE has just been released, and it looks to be another mind blowing epic from French Auteur Denis Villeneuve. In just a few short years, Villeneuve has become one of the most lauded and respected filmmakers of our generation, with masterworks such as Enemy, Prisoners, Sicario, & Arrival m aking the case for that statement that much harder to disagree with.

But what was the film that convinced producers and audiences that he was the right man for DUNE? Well folks, it was today’s topic of discussion. It was 2017’s Blade Runner 2049.

In what was my favorite film of that year, Blade Runner 2049 is a visual masterpiece of the finest order, with beautiful shots and sequences from beginning to end. Villeneuve takes the baton from original director Ridley Scott and races on into the cinematic threshold where filmmakers become icons. He doesn’t do it alone, though. He is aided fantastically by a powerful script, and an amazing cast, led by Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, and Dave Bautista.

I saved Bautista for last because it is his one scene that is today’s topic of Foot Fist Friday. For context, the beginning of the film starts with Agent K, played by Gosling, a replicant blade runner who has tracked down Sapper Morton, played by Bautista. Morton, a fellow replicant who has been on the run for quite some time and has become a protein farmer. As he retires to his residence, he finds K there, who begins to question him.

After a subdued but tense conversation, they begin to fight. Now, the choreography of this fight is nothing spectacular, to be honest. It’s fairly basic. Brutal, but basic. Morton slams K into a wall repeatedly, then through the wall. He chokes him on the ground, until K reverses position, and repeatedly punches Morton. Then after scanning Morton, K gets up to retrieve his weapon. And then, after one last exchange (one which will become pivotal to K’s investigation, as well as his entire existence), shoots Morton dead.

Sounds basic, I know. And in the hands of a lesser filmmaker, it would be boring. But the reason the scene works so well, and was worthy of being a Foot Fist Friday entry, is due to the lead up, staging and direction of the fight. Villeneuve really sets the tone for the rest of the film with how sparse, but engrossing this scene is. His cinematographer, the great Roger Deakins, lights the scene magnificently, using the clouded daylight coming in through the windows to illuminate the surroundings. Not too dim. Not too bright. Just perfect.

Also, the dialogue as written, as well as performed by Gosling and Bautista, is simply incredible. The lines are simple and direct. The delivery is soft, but strong. You would almost be surprised that a fight breaks out if you weren’t paying attention. But it’s the silent moments in between where the tension is felt the most, and where you realize that fight is inevitable between the two.

The lack of music creates an incredibly intense mood, especially during the conversation. A loof filmmakers would have gone for a bombastic, epic score, considering that the always amazing Hans Zimmer was the composer. But not Villeneuve. He lets the entire confrontation play out with absolutely no music whatsoever, making the silent moments more palpable, and the ensuing fight more riveting.

Simply wonderful stuff. That’s storytelling. That’s filmmaking. That’s Denis Villeneuve, ladies and gentlemen.

So, without further ado, I present to you… Agent K vs Sapper Morton from Blade Runner 2049. Take it away, Johnny!

About The Aurthor: With his mind utterly intoxicated off of a steady stream of movies, comics and cartoons, a young boy from Brooklyn, New York grew up to become the man known as… THE CINEMA DRUNKIE!!!

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