Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Review of 'Blade Runner 2049'
I quite liked it, or at least I quite liked the way it looked. It was a visual treat, and continued the combination of science fiction and noir that the first film pioneered. Others have said that the plot was flimsy, and I rather think the opposite - there was too much plot, including some elements that felt crowbarred in for the next sequel. I suspect the plot had holes or inconsistencies in it (like, either replicants can have children or they can't, but either way it's not a religious miracle, it's a designed-in feature that ought to be in the documentation), but again I can't be bothered to list or work them out...it wasn't really about the plot. Some others have commented on Ryan Gosling's acting - not much too say here; he has one fewer expression than Harrison Ford, I'd say. I liked the performances of the other actors, particularly the women.
I noted a few bits of product placement...we had a corporate logo for Diageo, and Deckart is drinking Johnnie Walker whisky; Black Label, which presumably he's been drinking for thirty years while holed up in the decaying hotel in Vegas. And Sony, and some others.
Oh, and the baddie who makes the robots that go wrong is called Wallace - wouldn't it be great if this was a homage to the Wallace who hangs out with Gromit? He also made robots that went wrong, more than once.
I noted that the urban dystopia is now aligned to a rural dystopia - we see a truly horrendous 'farm' early on the film. Hating cities (except perhaps New York) is a mainstream trope of American cinema, and often nature and rurality is counterposed to this. Not here.
I also noted some cyrillic writing early on, and also an add that seemed to feature 'Product of CCCP' - has the USSR been revived by 2049? In any case this made me realise that for Americans, part of what was dystopian about the original Blade Runner was the presence of so many different nationalities in the future LA, especially Asians - Neo LA looks a lot like Neo-Tokyo. Well, by 2017 the presence of Russian script is further evidence that everything has gone to the dogs.
Finally, the ruined Vegas hotel where Deckart is hiding out looked a lot like some of the actual derelict hotels featured in some 'ruin porn' movies about Detroit.
Ultimately a good experience, though 'enjoyable' doesn't seem quite right.
Watched at the Vue Cinema in Stroud...worth doing for the volume and depth of the sound!