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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 * 1/2 Stars

Blade Runner 2049Director: Denis Villeneuve
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas

Blade Runner 2049 (my latest review) is the long-awaited sequel to 1982's cult hit, Blade Runner. Guess what, I'm gonna compare the two films outright. Like GEICO, it's what I do.

"2049" is forty-five minutes longer than Blade Runner, "2049" expands on Blade Runner's universe from three-plus decades ago (yet there's no unfeigned connection), and "2049" is a little more violent and more action-packed. Still, Blade Runner 2049 is discombobulated. It's an inferior product that doesn't quite manifest as a rightful companion piece. There's less mystery, less darkness, no hypnotic Vangelis music, and less of a noir feel this time around. Sadly, those are the things I liked about the first outing.

Image result for blade runner 2049 movie scenes
Now would I consider Blade Runner from 82' a masterpiece? Not quite. I'd still recommend it though. The storytelling is tighter than in "2049" despite both flicks being vehemently slow-paced. Blade Runner is a pioneer in the visual effects department and has a poignant, ironic ending. Blade Runner 2049 by comparison, is a nettlesome exercise that has too many ideas and tries way too hard to be relevant. Sure its look is decent enough. But with a bloated running time, some scenes that should have been left on the cutting room floor, and some shaky editing, Blade Runner 2949 ends up being an annoying, sci-fi slog.

People all over the world have been debating the humanoid status contained in the first Blade Runner. These fanboys have been doing it for the past thirty-five years. With "2049", they'll probably just sigh and wonder what all the new fuss is about.

Harrison Ford reprises his Rick Deckard character for what feels like a minuscule cameo. Regrettably, he doesn't act with the mannerisms of Deckard enough to think that you believe he's back in Rick's nominal saddle again. It's almost a thankless performance. Then you have Ryan Gosling in the lead as protagonist K/Joe. Gosling is basically playing himself here. He's quiet, solemn, and appears like a less nastier version of his Driver trouper from 2011's Drive. Finally, there's Jared Leto as the ill-defined villain in Niander Wallace. It's Suicide Squad all over again because Leto barely registers in his role. It's like his presence feels akin to a separate motion picture altogether. That can't be good.

Image result for blade runner 2049 movie scenesAll in all, Blade Runner 2049 unfortunately comes off like other sequels in the past. After getting a whiff of its pretentiousness and unnecessary, science fiction mumbo-jumbo, you'd rather watch the first film the minute "2049's" closing credits come up. Rating: 1 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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