I didn’t want to go see Blade Runner 2049.
I saw it has Harrison Ford in it, and it shouldn’t. There’s always been a large contingent of people who are adamant that Deckard is a replicant, and that this is what makes the first Blade Runner so good. Which is also why one shouldn’t watch the Theatrical Release, because that has a voice-over which basically asserts “He’s totally human.”
I don’t think it matters if Deckard is a human or a replicant, but I despise the Theatrical Release if it does assert things one way or the other (haven’t actually seen it, myself). The implication that he could be is what is important. It works so well because it doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t… even if he’s not a replicant, he might as well be. Social isolation and official mediation of experience have brought him to the point where he only exists as far as the system says he does. Reality is out of his control. Which goes hand in hand with Phillip K Dick’s general philosophy and is a theme in a number of his works. So, yeah, a version which steamrolls that to say “NOPE, DEFINITELY HUMAN!” is kinda missing the whole point.
And then I saw that an old Harrison Ford is in Blade Runner 2049. Bleh. So I simply wasn’t going to watch it. The original Blade Runner is one of the best movies ever made, IMO. We’re approaching an infinite number of forgettable sequels and remakes that should simply be considered non-canon by anyone who cares about artistic integrity. This would be just another one of those, and I’d treat it as such. Bite me, Hollywood.
And then I kept hearing how amazing BR2049 is. /sigh. Fine. Went to see it. Still had some reservations, but also some hope.
Visually it is stunning. Literally worth it to go see it for the visuals alone. And the music accompaniment is perfect. This movie has atmosphere and style galore. So very beautiful.
BR2049’s biggest failing is the villain. I *love* fiction where I find the villain sympathetic. Where I honestly can say that if I was in the villains position, I would do exactly what they had done. Roy Batty is a fucking masterpiece, and I love him, and I kinda wish he’d won Blade Runner, except then it wouldn’t be a tragedy, would it? The villain in 2049 is ridiculously one-dimensional and stupid. Like, so, soooo stupid. “Allow me to put you in an easily escapable situation while I leave you unwatched, Mr. Bond” levels of stupid. So, that kinda annoyed me.
The story’s alright. It tries hard. And it provides a good framework for the beautiful visuals. It feels a lot like late-90s anime actually. Come to think of it, I think that’s a fantastic analogy. Gorgeous, a plot that is earnest if flawed, and one glaring bad note.
All in all, BR2049 is one of the best animes I’ve seen. It’s no Blade Runner, but then again, what is? Totally worth 3 hours of my life, I like it.