Do you live too good a life and dream of knowing what could be worse for humanity? The Cyberpunk genre is here to serve you! The JV editorial team offers you a nice selection of 10 cyberpunk films to devour now on Amazon Prime Video.
- Blade Runner
- Blade runner 2049
- Ex Machina
- Ghost in the Shell
- Minority Report
- Robocop (1987)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- Time Out
We are on August 19, 1988. The mangaka and screenwriter Katsuhiro Ôtomo gives birth to a major work of the Cyberpunk genre. Akira is an animated film adapted from the manga of the same name. In 1988, an explosion of unknown origin destroyed Tokyo, thus triggering the Third World War.
The events of Akira take place 31 years later, in 2019. Tokyo rises from its ashes and becomes Neo-Tokyo, a sprawling megalopolis where the next Olympic Games will take place. Unfortunately, the corporations hold the majority of the wealth of this city, and force the population into mass unemployment and delinquency.
It is in this context that the young rebel bikers Kaneda and Tetsuo almost run over a child. Tetsuo is seriously injured and is immediately transported to the emergency room.
It is then that his friend, Kaneda, learns that his lifelong comrade is in fact a prisoner in a secret laboratory carrying out experiments. Our young hero then has only one objective: to save his friend.
Blade Runner is a science fiction film released in 1982. Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Alone on Mars) is in charge of the project. We are at the end of the 20th century. The population flees the Earth which has become the scene of extreme violence and insalubrity.
Human technology has quickly evolved, and has made it possible to develop beings almost identical to humans, the replicants, who now serve as their slaves. As this space race escalates, a group of replicants steal a spaceship and flee to Earth. That’s when a taciturn Blade Runner steps in, a special agent tasked with eliminating disobedient replicants.
Blade runner 2049
Ryan Gosling is a Blade Runner in Blade Runner 2049. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, recently supervising Dune (2021), and released in 2017 in our dark rooms. Blade Runner 2049 takes us through the daily life of K, an elite agent who must watch over the slaves created by bio-engineering, and eliminate them in case of disobedience.
It is during a mission that our agent discovers a secret that the elite has always wanted to conceal. He is then himself chased by the other Blade Runners. His only hope: to find Rickard Decker, a former agent, who has been missing for several decades.
And man created the machine! Ex Machina is a film directed by Alex Garland (Annihilation) released on June 3, 2015. Caleb is a young genius computer programmer working at BlueBook, one of the biggest companies in the world.
To reward his quality work, his boss invites him to spend a stay with him, in his villa in the mountains. Arriving in the isolated house, Caleb discovers that he will be the subject of an experiment: to live with an artificial intelligence taking the appearance of a lovely woman. This situation will push him to question himself about human nature and its limits.
Ghost in the Shell
Can we talk about cyberpunk without taking a detour through Ghost in the Shell ? The film released in 1995 and directed by Mamoru Oshii (Sky Crawlers the army of the sky) is obviously the adaptation of the eponymous manga by Shirow Masamune. In 2029, the world has changed and so has technology.
Major Motoko Kusunagi, a cyborg, and her partner Batou, both belong to the counter-terrorist section of New Port, Japan. During an investigation, the two agents come face to face with a very talented hacker known by the pseudonym “Puppet Master”.
As their investigation progresses, another section of the Japanese police puts obstacles in the way of Makoto and Batou. Indeed, this other section reserves a very particular fate for the “Puppet Master”.
Minority Report is a film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Philip K. Dick. This project is signed Steven Spielberg, the cult director behind works such as Schindler’s List, or ET The Extra-Terrestrial. Minority Report transports us to Washington, in 2054.
American society has made enormous technological progress and is today able to predict the slightest attempt, or even the will to violate. John Anderton is the head of this section, residing within the Ministry of Justice itself. One day, his colleagues detect that Anderton is about to commit murder within the next 36 hours.
The platoon leader is forced to flee, having become the target of his own brigade. On the run, he investigates and tries to prevent himself from committing the irreparable.
We are in 1987. Director Paul Verhoeven is about to create a work that has marked the collective imagination. Her name : Robocop. The production immerses us in the United States, in 2043, in the heart of a city of Detroit controlled by the OCP: the Omni Cartel of Products.
This conglomerate is dedicated to the creation and sale of new military-industrial technologies. This is how she produces the ultimate android, capable of saving the widow and the orphan, and of stopping the thugs: Robocop.
But the OCP has an even more ambitious goal, that of replacing Detroit with “Delta City”… a perfect city, designed to serve the greatest wealth in the world. A dystopian dream that puts the current population on the hot seat.
We continue with another cinema legend. In this film directed by James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic) and released in 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the Terminator. In the year 2029, humanity faces an insurrection of the machines.
The company Skynet, led by an artificial intelligence, decided to send a Terminator in the past, a robot with human appearance, in order to kill the leader of the human resistance before he was even born. It is then that we find ourselves in 1984 facing a T-800 whose objective is to eliminate Sarah Connor, the future mother of John Connor.
At the same time, John himself sends his brother-in-arms Kyle Reese into the past to protect his mother’s imminent assassination.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Still directed by James Cameron, Terminator 2: Judgment Day first hit theaters in 1991. After missing the murder of Sarah Connor, Skynet plans to send another killer robot down memory lane. The T-1000, an improved and more efficient version of the Terminator.
This time, the artificial intelligence tries to assassinate John Connor in 1995 while the latter is still a teenager. To counter the plans of the machines, the John of the future sends a Terminator T-800 to protect his double from the past. The future of humanity then takes on the air of a race against time.
What if time became a scarce resource? This is the starting postulate of Time Out, a film directed by Andrew Niccol, a regular in the genre who has already given us the much appreciated Welcome to Gattaca. It is in 2169 that we follow the life of Will Salas (Justin Timberlake).
In this dystopian future, the population is genetically modified and cannot age beyond 25 years. From this point in life, you literally have to “save time”. The time of life has become a currency of exchange which pleases the richest aristocrats in the world.
After saving the life of a wealthy person, Will is rewarded with a hundred years of extra life. Our protagonist then tries a few bets at the casino and wins almost a millennium by beating the wealthy Philippe Weis at poker.
But the latter does not hear it that way and decides to take legal action against Will who finds himself fleeing for his life, with the daughter of Philippe Weis as a hostage.
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