Blade Runner 2049 Review (spoilers)
I will probably get assassinated for this by a few of my friends, but...
Blade Runner part II was disappointing. The original had qualities that made it iconic, beyond the subject matter. This one did not, it was like a paint by numbers from the beginning. I don't know. I think there's something about modern cinema that just doesn't resonate with me. Digital film, high definition- I really think it has a lot to do with it. It's masturbatory. Plots are made not for the interest of the viewer, but for the sake of showing off new techniques and effects that I simply don't care about. Visuals are made as "realistic" as possible. Paradoxically, what people call "real" I see plastic. For me, what a machine sees or creates is not real. Real is blur. Real is romanticism, and lights and shadows and evocative ambiences. Real is not tangible locations. Real is not super defined edges. It's just boring and unappealing.
Blade Runner had style, which is something that this one was missing. I think we narrowed it down to that- me and my friend who went to see it. The director failed to infuse poetry into the image. Unsurprising, since he was the director of arrival and those graphics were dire and depressing. This one too was a little dark for no reason.
There was a lot happening for no reason. The villain, a botoxed girl with obviously fake color hair in ill-fitting clothing, kept getting into fight scenes for no reason. People got hit a lot. Too much was shown, that was irrelevant to me.
Movies used to be evocative. We're human, we have a strong imagination, we don't need to see everything. Here we could see e v e r y t h i n g. There was no mystery. The little mystery there was, had no purpose in the story, it was obviously there to trick the viewer at the end. Like, whatever. The best stories are the ones you already know but they are done so beautifully you wanna watch them again. I can't imagine watching this ten times cause there's nothing pleasurable about it.
Harrison Ford was promising, and the movie took off when he appeared (about three quarters in...?) Soon after there was a brief excerpt from the first movie that served to display everything that was wrong about this one. It's the style, the flair. The soul. The warmth- I don't know. I don't know what's happened. Ryan Gosling was a funny choice of casting. He's la la land, hollywood celeb, he's not a Blade Runner. I can't stop fixating on his receded chin and soft lips. Love the guy, he's just not that guy for me.
The whole apparatus was just uninteresting
What good can I say about it? I liked the story, I thought it was cool. Jared Leto was fantastic - shame that he looked so perfect and plastic. There was so much space left for anticipation, full of little technical details that I'm sure costed a lot of money, and a lot of slow expressions in the faces of the actors that showed how good actors they are. Self-indulgent. Don't care.
Sorry, getting negative again. Where were we?
The robot hologram girl was an idea done beautifully, if only we hadn't seen it in full force in Her (a more interesting movie). My friend pointed out that a lot of elements were taken from A. I . I don't mind at all ideas being borrowed, but somehow this felt a lot like a pastiche cause there were no reason for these things, they were just there, hanging out in space for our admiration.
The memories girl was a sweet concept. The way the replicants functioned was interesting, but we already gathered all of this from the first movie, even if it wasn't explained for dummies like it was here (unnecessary). A lot of people were saying this film answered a lot of questions but what questions did you need answered? It was pretty clear, while still leaving some space to breathe. It's a good thing not to have all the answers, it creates a sense of mystery and encourages you to dream and imagine things as you want them to be. In this film, there is nothing to dream about at the end, things are very concrete, and simple, and underwhelming. It's not a very pretty world.
It's not a bad movie, I enjoyed watching it, I just wish it hadn't come with the promise of Blade Runner. I would have never thought this was a sequel of Blade Runner, if it wasn't for the obvious reference.