REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049
... I don't get it.
… I don’t get it.
But let’s back up.
This movie falls in line with Denis Villeneuve’s playbook, in that it has many pretty shots, it’s pretty sexist and is coming directly out of his rectum. Making a sequel to a seminal movie like Blade Runner is a tall order. It’s influenced so many other works that in some sense there have been lots and of other Blade Runner stories (and that’s not even mentioning the video game sidequel). So how do you make this particular story resonate in a way that stands out?
I don’t know how you do and this movie certainty didn’t for me. I can’t see this as anything other than Denis Villeneuve’s very expensive Blade Runner fan fiction. It’s more about enshrining the original than in creating anything new.
I should say I’m not a huge fan of the original. I respect its historical import and there are things heavily influenced by it that I do love, but as a movie to watch it doesn’t do anything for me. It just doesn’t connect, and neither does this, but the big distinction I would draw is that I understand the influential power of the original but with 2049 I really just don’t see the appeal.
It’s not that I hate it. There’s nothing here that stands out to me. It just feels thoroughly mediocre.
Like, it’s pretty, but it’s not iconic. Any imagery that stands out to me is just an obvious homage to the original.
There’s also the fact that this is such well worn territory. At this point the dehumanization of replicants actually just feels contrived. There’s nothing about the way replicants are portrayed here that makes me question their humanity. There’s nothing interesting to think about, it’s just like “Yup, people sure are racist.”
One of my big problems with the movie is the romantic subplot between Ryan Gosling’s character, K, and his hologram girlfriend/OS Joi (Ana de Armas). Its such a (worse) retread of Her that I find it distracting, but it also keeps getting in the way of the actual plot, padding out the runtime of this 3 hour movie. We’ve reached a turning point, K knows where to look for Deckard, oh wait nope, we’ve gotta wait for K to bang a prostitute who’s acting as a surrogate for Joi (which again is an idea lifted right out of Her)
It feels like it’s trying to push forward (Well if replicants are people, are holograms people?) but it just doesn’t work. I’m just too willing to answer “yes.” If you’re going to write them like people then sure they’re people. It just fails as specualtive fiction, it’s not exploring a question. It feels like a fan of Blade Runner who’s come up with all his own answers and is just playing those out.
Also it’s all about the miracle of childbirth. Because of course it is.
Gosling’ performance doesn’t work for me either. I just don’t think he’s particularly suited to play such a straight faced “cool” character. This just doesn’t make use of his comedic sensibilities which I think are his greatest strength.
Harrison Ford feels more like Harrison Ford than Deckard.
I can see someone else enjoying this movie ok, but I’m honestly at a loss how someone could love this movie unless it was like the third non-Marvel movie they’d ever seen. It has some moments but overall it’s just not compelling, interesting or unique.
Thank You For Your Time.