I have wonderful news!!
This year’s version of Blade Runner is much better than this year’s version of Alien!!
It is. I liked the film plenty but the sarcasm that I’m trying to communicate here (I’ve found that sarcasm is a tough vibe to communicate on the page – That’s why LOL is so widely used – LOL is the modern day ÁPPLAUSE sign) is from the constant frustration of the State of our Entertainment.
Remakes, Re-dos, Re-imagine, Revisit, Do-Over, Reboot, Sequel, Prequel, Spinoff, Cinematic Universe Expansion!!!
Over and over and again.
Blade Runner 2049 also represents another fade (I did like the movie, I promise – This is a larger issue – This is a Chronic Problem) permeating the Hollywood Hills: Let’s take a talented director who has established themselves with fine, original work and “gift” them one of these SURE FIRE HITS (!!)
Denis Villeneuve has made some solid films over the last few years (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners) and here is tries his hand at mimicry. (Same thing is going on over in the Star Wars Universe as the next Trilogic Install is made by Rian Johnson who had nothing but Original Work [Brick, Looper, The Brothers Bloom] prior to being allowed to Expand the Universe) Villeneuve succeeds at recreating the world of Blade Runner and that is what makes the film something to see. This is no small task as the original Blade Runner is a miracle of visual style. This ‘feels’ like the same world. An achievement.
The film is also more coherent, more accessible than the original. Ridely Scott’s work in the 70s and 80s was always a little confounding. He purposefully did not connect the dots for you. Something he tried later with Prometheus and, to a much lesser extent, Alien: Covenant with little success. Villeneuve cleans up the questions left hanging and keeps things in order on this go around.
Gosling is a perfect Runner and wears the jacket well. It’s great to see Harrison Ford in anything. I love that every movie he’s been in recently is a reboot and he always gets the Heroes Entrance; that moving shot where he walks into the frame and into the light. Awe!! Look!! An old friend!!
It is Leto that is unbearable to watch. Luckily, he is relegated to only a couple of scenes. He plays his omnipotent villain with such weight that its laughable. He is the cousin of The Architect from The Matrix, believing every syllable he croaks is ever-so important. He bogs the film down with his pretention. Watching Ford react to him in their scene is a joy, though. “What’s up with this guy?” his face says the entire time. We don’t know, Harrison. We think he’s losing his mind. (Quick note: Leto’s Niander Wallace is blind in the film. So Leto wore contacts to make himself blind. You know? Because, well…. You know? So he could be, like, really blind. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL So Stupid!)
It’s a heavy film. Probably too long with a final fight scene that is just a bit odd. It’s worth the ticket on the visual alone while the story is a nice homage to the stories original author, Phillip K. Dick. But here’s the rub, if you go see it. They’ll just make more. I don’t know if that’s what you really want. I know I don’t.