There are plenty of movies in Hollywood, only some of which ever reach legendary status that seals their place in history. These sacred films were usually ended in a manner that didn’t require a sequel, but leave it to the big studios to not leave things along. Tonight, Blade Runner 2049 premiers to the public, alongside some high review scores and plenty of praise. Despite the decades long gap, this movie holds promise to be just as good as the sequel. Robbie K is here to share some thoughts on the latest flick and help guide your viewing pleasures.
True Sci-Fi Crime: The trailers don’t lie when they say Blade Runner 2049 is a crime noire film. It opens with the reference back to the first film and soon uncovers a mystery that will run the course of the movie. As this occurs, the other parties are seeking ways to hinder our “hero” (Ryan Gosling) from uncovering the truth. Like a glorified episode of half the crime-dramas on television, Blade Runner 2049 is all about capitalizing on a prolonged crime and mixing as much drama into it to help add character development. All of this is nicely wrapped up in a science-fiction spin, integrating the floating ships, robots, and large computers as the theater it unfolds in.
Emotionally Artistic: The thing that many reviewers seem to appreciate is that the movie brings a lot of emotional punch to the audience. Our directors managed to interject a lot of feeling into Gosling’s supposedly emotional character. As his story continues to unfold, you’ll be submerged into the psychological nightmare he is forced to face. While the traumatic stress is certainly enough to pull some heart strings, it’s the artistic portrayal of determining one’s self that adds fuel to the fire. Self-Identity, a thing many struggle with, is well-addressed in this film, trying to uncover the truth about his self, all while solving the crime. Throw in a rather deep, albeit weird, romance story and you will round out the emotional plotlines many seek.
Acting: A character is only as good as the actor who portrays it to life and Blade Runner 2049 is a shining example of quality acting. Gosling as the lead was a good choice, his ability to play a man with an identity crisis is quite believable, primarily in the way he seems to stand on the border of sane and psychopathic. While not his best role, I enjoyed seeing the anti-hero part played by him again. Harrison Ford reprises his edge well enough, but I felt they didn’t utilize him as well as they could.
Ana De Armas: I was happy to see more of Ana in this film, seeing her branch down some more emotional pathways, all while driving the character development of Gosling’s character. Yet, I can’t lie, that she was beautiful in the various outfits she shifted into during the film. I got the best of both world in this film, and appreciated the costumes that she sported in her awkward scenes.
Not so thrilling: The first Blade Runner had some suspense to it, the constant thrill of the chase as Ford tried to hunt down the rogue androids. It kept the pace going, all while integrating the elements I mentioned in the likes section. Blade Runner 2049 though wasn’t that thrilling to me. The action was rather bland, the emotion with it almost as flat, and had little suspense outside of how much torture some of the characters could take. I expected a little more spice to the mix, but don’t let the trailers fool you, the thrills were more like spills.
Long: If a movie is going to be nearly three hours, it needs to either move, or have an exciting climax. I found neither of these elements in this movie, but instead a very drawn out movie that seemed to drag. While the message and artistic license are appreciated, the editors could have really dropped half the footage to get me out of the theater faster. Perhaps if the ending hadn’t been predictable I would have been more intrigued, but I found myself fighting sleep at times because from these elaborate, and often unnecessary details.
Predictable Story and Under Utilized Characters: Blade Runner 2049 might have been a well-built Sci-Fi Crime story, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t predictable. Most of the “twists” I got in the first hour, leaving me nearly two to go until they revealed it. In addition, my expectations of where the story was going were also shattered as other characters were underutilized for more sappy looks and near depression. This especially goes for Ford and Leto, who I felt got the short-end of the stick in this film. Throw in some of the loose ends, more like bait for the next film, and it left me unsatisfied with where the story was going.
Loud: Many films are loud in a theater with blaring music and special effects to make the seats shake. This movie though, just had obnoxious sound effects that were high-pitched groans, mixed with a soundtrack that while unique was not the most pleasing to me. Brace yourselves for this interesting sound soiree, because you are going to hear it a lot.
Blade Runner 2049 is artistic, a visual display that is packed with emotion, Sci-Fi charm, and a crime noire element. It has much of the same feel as its predecessor, but I felt it lacked the suspense and thrills that the trailers promised back in the teaser. Sadly the predictable story, underutilized characters and audio assault didn’t justify the nearly three hour run time for me. Don’t see this one when your energy is low folks, or you just might be fighting sleep.
Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0