Do reviewers dream of critical sheep?
As a sequel to the classic 1982 movie set loosely in the world of Phillip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” Blade Runner 2049 had a lot to live up to. Does it succeed, or is it better off retired? Let’s find out!
If you’re expecting a high action, blockbuster science fiction film, then you are sorely mistaken. Blade Runner 2049 is a long, hard R, science fiction mystery. It deals with heavy themes and you have to keep a sharp eye and ear open to catch all the clues and story connections. It’s worth a second watch with a notebook in hand to make sure you picked up on everything happening.
Now, while the story was engaging, I’ll admit that there were a few leaps in logic that had me questioning the film’s logic. However, I’m sure this is likely because I missed a line of dialog or two underneath the heavy BWAAAAAHs of the soundtrack.
The only major complaint is that they fail to properly establish the fact that Replicants (clone slaves) lack empathy as part of their programing. In fact, the film itself seemed to forget that crucial part of the world at points.
The story gets a 4.9 out of 5.
You know all those trailers showing Harrison Ford’s character facing off against Ryan Gosling’s character? That doesn’t happen till practically the third act of the film, just a fair warning.
Speaking of Ryan Gosling, he plays the Replicant police officer and main character, K. K is a fascinating character…when he actually decides to emote. K goes through nearly the entire movie with a single stoic expression on his face. When he does display emotion, Gosling really gets to shine and show his acting talent. Unfortunately this so rarely happens. It isn’t helped when compared to Harrison Ford who can pull off the stoic badass while still looking invested in what’s going on. Gosling just looks like detached most of the time, not badass.
This robotic acting really stands out against everyone else’s acting. All these actors really brought their A game to this film and they just ooze with personality.
However, there is a distinct lack of diversity amongst even the background characters. Normally you might not notice this, but because the world is layered with so many cultures, it really stands out. When there are so many elements of Japanese, Korean, and even Russian culture in the settings, I expect to see more than just white people. Any Asian people are voices in the background and it took over half an hour for a speaking Black character to make an appearance. If you’re going to have a film in 2017 about a bioengineered slave race, then there better be more diversity than a few token throwaway characters. I’m not even touching some of the gender issues that spring up because would take an entire article itself.
Just be warned, the acting is mostly fantastic, but the way some characters are treated may be a little distasteful to some of you viewers.
Characters get a 3 out 5.
This film is stunning to look at!
Each and every area of this future world was a delight to behold. From the dilapidated dumping grounds, to the skyline of Los Angeles, it was a treat for the eyes. It is a real nice change from the first movie where most of our time was spent just within various parts of the city. Here, we get to explore wastelands and protein farms and even an entirely different city. It was a little disappointing not to see all the off-world colonies they kept referencing, but it would have been difficult for the plot to get us there.
My only complaint is where the climax of the film takes place. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say they could have picked a more visually interesting place for what is supposed to be the most tense and exciting part of the film.
Visuals get a 5 out of 5.
This film is a dark and heavy piece of art. You won’t leave the theater feeling pumped and ready to fight a galactic empire, but you will leave with some deep questions to ponder and some stunning environments to imagine. It’s not for everyone, but if you feel up for the challenge, I say definitely give this movie a watch.
Overall I give Blade Runner 2049 a 4.5 out of 5.
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