Greetings, bros. I have recently returned from a viewing of the new Blade Runner 2049, and wanted to provide some intellectual stimulation and unbiased analysis on the movie (it has titties).
I do have to caveat all this in saying that if you didn’t see the first Blade Runner, you can still go see this one. There is a nice little bit of text at the beginning that kind of explains the situation of replicants and Blade Runners (who don’t run all that often it turns out). While I do think you will enjoy the movie more if you’ve seen the first, it’s not a requirement. Plus, the older version still holds up pretty well if you DO want to try it out, and is fairly true to the meandering Noir genre. This one keeps the mood of the first while giving a bit more explosions and visuals.
First things first, though. Let’s answer the question of if the movie was any good. After not being able to do anything but stare expectantly at the screen for nearly three hours, I have to say unequivocally yes. Oh and it’s 3 hours….you may want to keep that in mind and have a poo before you head in. Just sayin. I also don’t like to get in to plot too much. I think it takes away from the story. Especially, in one like this.
The thing that stands out in my mind first is the overall feel of the movie. I do have to explain that I am an avid lover of dystopian sci-fi with large panning shots and a frightening score. So this movie was pretty much made with me in mind. I just sat there and let it wash over me like a warm bath that also has an electric current running through it. Because you can’t really relax at any point in time. Even when the scene is a beautiful wide shot of the world, the music is forcing the reminder that this world sucks and people are either miserable or fooling themselves. But it’s all part of making sure the tension never QUITE gets released. So if have 3 hours to kill and want to feel depressed while looking at something beautiful, THIS is the movie for you.
The acting in this was about how you’d expect. If you need someone to play a robotic killing machine who goes overboard when showing emotion, Ryan Gosling is the guy to call. I’m being a bit facetious, but he does do a good job with the character. The roles that really stand out, though, are Ana de Armas as Joi, and Robin Wright as Lieutenant Joshi. I hadn’t seen Ana de Armas in anything before, but she is just a ball of cute and sweet if there ever was one. Robin Wright you may remember from Wonder Woman and The Princess Bride. She’s just pure talent while also being extremely beautiful. Harrison Ford is as Harrison Ford as you can get. It don’t get much more Harrison Ford than that.
Another memorable role is Jared Leto as Niander Wallace, mostly because I can’t get it out of my head how utterly terrible he was. Everything from his style of speech to awkward script made me want bang my head against a wall. Rutger Hauer had one of the best speeches in cinema history in the first Blade Runner and it was entirely ad libbed. Leto seems to want to recreate that magic but failed just sooooooo bad. If he weren’t in the movie, I’d be okay with it (and it wouldn’t be 3 hours).
(Yes, Jared. Even if I was blind, your role still would have sucked.)
The thing about these types of movies is that they tend to take their time getting where they need to go, and usually don’t have much resolution. This movie is no different, and I wouldn’t want to change that. It probably isn’t for everyone. I blame the giant pile of popcorn shit that cinema has become these days, but that’s neither here nor there.
So to sum up for the layperson: it has stunning visuals and memorable performances while only slightly dipping into serious topics like existentialism, post-humanism, and love. Maybe that’s what people are having a problem with. It’s not popcorny enough for people that can’t pay attention, and it isn’t deep enough for people that want to tackle mature issues. I say it’s good to get that middle ground occasionally. Introduce those cotton candy kids to something deeper, and get the intellectuals to lighten the fuck up every once in a while. But that’s just me.