Review: Bladerunner 2049


I remember watching the original Bladerunner in one of the Century theaters in the 1980’s. A masterpiece of visual delight, it riffed off of the current hyper-popular branding and visual stimulation to weave a fantastic tale that succeeded, even with its overbearing narrative (the editors seemed to think us yanks needed to be hit over the head with the main plot lines.)

So, when I heard that they were making a sequel, I was delighted.

I shouldn’t have been.

I didn’t see it in a theater. I probably haven’t been to a theater in 12 or more years, but we have pretty good watching hardware, so I bought the blu-ray of it.

The good

The cinematography is outstanding. Like in the original, the dystopian vision of the future is outstanding. Of course, this time it was all CGI and masterful effects, where the original was in the dark ages, and required a lot of sets to be built and lighted properly.

Speaking of effects. Stunning. Magical. Pretty much what is expected today. And it delivers in spades. Seriously, if they just cut out the dialog and the story, I could watch such a world forever.

The acting was also quite good. Ryan Gosling as the replicant is convincing and believable. The baddies are well cast, lead by Luv (Sylvia Hoek) who reminds me of an evil Pauley Perrette, yowsa. The virtual “partner” Joi played by Ana de Armas (who will be the Bond girl in the 2020’s “No Time to Die”) is delectable in her character.

It is a fairly believable post apocalyptic world, but I always wonder about the ecology. Guess I am a nerd or something.

The Bad

The story, uh how to sugarcoat it, sucked. There, I said it. The original Bladerunner was based on a short story by the incomparable Phillip K. Dick, a master of the SciFi genre, and Ridley Scott brought that vision alive with an amazing vision, and a difficult to quantify quality I would call taste.

This new version is supposedly 30 years later (the original Bladerunner was set in Los Angeles in 2019) and Rachel the Nexus 6 had a child by Deckard (Harrison Ford). Her remains were found at the beginning of ‘2049 by ‘K’ (Ryan Gosling) and there was evidence that she was manufactured (i.e. a replicant) and died during childbirth.

That puts K on the track of this progeny, and into a maze of intrigue, differing factions (what is a dystopian future without factions?) and plot holes.

The way the evidence piled up, it appeared (to K at least) that he was the offspring. A cherished – but implanted – memory of an event was a true memory of the child (a wooden horse from the orphanage was found where the memory put it) wasn’t his, but it was the memory of the real offspring.

I won’t go into all the plot holes, but as someone with a physics degree, who is used to suspending belief, this was a whole ‘nother level.

The summary

I paid $11 for the Blu-Ray disc of this, and for that it was fair. I am glad I didn’t spend the $50 it would have cost for my wife and I to see this colossal turd in a theater. The effects and cinematography are outstanding. But the story was convoluted, contrived, and defied belief.

The original Bladerunner was based on a masterpiece from the mind of Phillip K. Dick, artfully adapted into a feature length story. The sequel seemed to grasp at straws and the coincidences were trying.

It took me three tries to get through this film, finally being forced by my wife to finish it (we both panned it)

I have to wonder if Harrison Ford needed a bathroom remodeled or other work for his participation in this shit-show. The most believable character was his dog in his Las Vegas hideout.

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.

By gander


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