Friday, October 13, 2017

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

You know, I do not think I have seen "The Final Cut" of Blade Runner.  I bought "The Director's Cut" close to 17 years ago and that is the only version that I have in my mind when I think of the movie.  I know that the theatrical version has the voice over and a happy ending, but I can't think of what that is, and all that is coming to mind when I think of studio imposed happy endings is Brazil.  With that in mind, I am positive that there is a lot of imagery and meaning that went over my head in The Director's Cut and likewise, enough from Blade Runner 2049 that I missed.  Nevertheless, I am here to talk/ramble on about Blade Runner 2049, or at least attempt to talk about all 164 minutes of Denis Villeneuve's vision of Ridley Scott's vision of characters from Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"  Basically, I do not find myself competent enough to write a coherent and cohesive commentary on everything that the Blade Runner series has to say about our current and future world.

But moving on.

In short, I very much enjoyed the movie, even though my bladder decided that it had something to say about an hour and-a-half way through (I think, I didn't look at a clock or my phone to confirm the amount of time), to which I proceeded to ignore it until after getting back home.  Yes, BR2049 is a long movie, but only if you are not a fan of long movies to begin with.  It is shorter than The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Gettysburg, but 48 minutes longer than the first Blade Runner.  So buckle up.

But um. . .yeah.  I thought Blade Runner 2049 was a pretty damn good movie, considering the legacy it had to live up to, and from my own partially educated mind, I think that Denis Villeneuve and company were able to pull off a sequel 35 years after the original was made.  The cinematography had a very similar feel and sense to remain consistent with the established world.  The music from both Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch at times seemed to be mixed almost too loud and oppressive (which might have been the point the whole time), but still sounded enough like Vangelis' score, but not so much that there was no originality to it.  The characters acted in ways that made sense, taking both films into account.

One sour note on the film, is something that Conklederp brought up a completely valid point with one of the characters, Joi, played by Ana de Armas.  That with Joi, a female character, her only purpose was to highlight the loneliness of K.  Joi's role in the film comes across as very 1940's film noir and that might have been perfectly fine in that era, but one would think that we would have progressed further in roles written for women by 2016.  Although given the recent state of how leading statesmen and heads of entertainment have treated women, it really is not surprising.

No, Blade Runner 2049 was not a perfect movie (what is these days?), but it was a very good science fiction film that was perfectly paced, mostly well written, and one that I will undoubtedly add next to my copy of Blade Runner: The Director's Cut when it is released, probably in early 2018.


P.S.  Only semi-sorry for the hack-job that this article turned out to be, but hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks.

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