Movies: Blade Runner 2049

This movie was really long and kind of slow, which I guess means it matched the style and pace of the first Blade Runner film. So . . . yay?

We had to watch Blade Runner in film school, of course, and go through the various permutations of it: different endings, voice over or no voice over, etc. I remember liking it, kind of, but at the same time I don't have any distinct memory of the film itself. Only a sense of it, a big darkness lit with flashing neon and the low murmur of Harrison Ford. What stands out most in my mind is Rutger Hauer, bright against the dark sky.

This movie didn't really have a bright spot like that for me, something to grasp, something that pinpoints and condenses the sprawl of the film into a single image or memory. Which is funny, since memories are central to the Blade Runner story in both movies.

So. Blade Runner 2049. Well, it's—wait for it—2049, and Ryan Gosling plays "K," a new model of replicant that obeys and is, er, safe to use? He's a blade runner, hunting down older models of replicants. Except then he stumbles on something that suggests a past replicant had a baby, which should be impossible, but . . . ::shrug::

The miraculous birth, a new kind of "religion" for replicants in hiding—the allegory is pretty distinctly drawn. And of course the head of LAPD (Robin Wright) plays Herod, demanding this replicant child—which by now would be grown—be found and killed before news can spread and start an uprising.

As expected, the movie draws viewers and the main character down a false path before taking a turn. But it takes ages to even get that far. Gah.

It's not a bad movie. The production quality is stellar. But there was a lot that could have been cut and tightened while still telling an effective story.

Still, it's a worthy companion to Blade Runner, which was also long and slow. So if that's what they were going for, they nailed it.

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