Blade Runner 2049 (USA 2017)

images(This new Gutenberg–style of posting is taking some time to get used to. It feels like I’m typing this from the future) Anyway, the Hollywood hacks struck again last year with this beautiful looking flop. When it comes to sequels and prequels, the suits of Tinseltown cannot help themselves from reaching for that same old bottle. Despite increasing public scorn for some of these unnecessary products its become an addiction that Hollywood cannot give up. 

On with the show: watching Blade Runner 2049 can make one feel like an authentic douchebag. Because only d bags, or shit munchers, would pay for the privilege of sitting through three hours of mind numbing slow-mo contradictory conversations that make no sense. The year is 2049 (surprise surprise) and the world has grown in technology, but not humanity. Ryan Gosling plays K, a Blade Runner (a futuristic cop) tasked with tracking down the last of the Replicants-androids that look like humans. Knowing that he himself is a replicant, he goes on a journey of his own when he finds a box containing the bones of a Replicant who gave birth to a child and is tasked with finding the child. Little does he know that the new head of the Tyrell Corporation that makes the Replicants, Mr. Wallace (Jared Leto), plans to use the missing child for his own purposes and kill K if he has to. Boring, eh?

blade runnerIt feels so deliberately paced. The characters almost always move so slow. As if the filmmakers thought this is the best way to pad out the running time, because they badly lacked enough material to justify it. The performances range from great to laughable. Harrison Ford is here for the paycheck. But he gives the best performance in his brief running time and he feels like a continuation of his character from the original, Deckard, in a world where things have just gotten worse. Gosling is OK as K,  his stone-face effective in a couple of scenes, but Rutger Hauer in the original gave his Replicant character more of a personality. Jared Leto is trying and failing to bring a degree of menace as the villain, and his female Replicant sidekick competes with him as to who is better at phoning it in. The result is a tie.

Blade-Runner-2049-02Lots of juicy bits to take us down memory lane, but all these seem to have been scripted to make a replica of the original film. They are not hidden somewhere to let the audience spot them and delight with their discovery. Beside the cameos played by the original actors, the numerous references to the first film are a substantial part of the footage. They are not nuanced, merely served up in inescapable order: car zooming over LA (check), Pris (check), origami (check), exotic animal dealer in seedy district (double check), PanAm (check), Coca-Cola billboards (check), Atari ads (check). And the list goes on. While the first Blade Runner had a history that unfolded throughout its several editions, due to initial misunderstanding and its later rise to cult status, the repackaging of this one had been planned upfront, as a way to stand firmly in the shadow of the original film. Ignore all the shills, and the trolls – this flick is not worth losing nearly three hours out of your life for. It will just make you feel older.

brunner 2049

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Comments

  1. i liked the slow pace, it was a refreshing change from all the recent movies that have been 30 explosions in 30 seconds. my biggest complaint about this movie was how long it was – many scenes should have been cut entirely, such as every single scene with Jared Leto, because his character was written so badly and his acting was subpar. i liked the rest of the movie tho – loved the slow burn, loved the soundtrack.

    Liked by 1 person

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