Blade Runner 2049 (2017) SOME SPOILERS
The expanded, updated future world created by Messrs. Ridley Scott and Syd Mead is revisited & this movie relishes its time with it. Fans who appreciate the previous design and world building should be satisfied. Why rush this?
We start the movie immediately with some familiar visuals, boiling water, fighting bodies going thru walls, etc. that immediately bring to mind Blade Runner milieu. Later we'll encounter miniature animals, further reinforcing visual motifs from the first movie.
From a certain point of view this is the film that Ridley Scott probably wishes he had made, we get the 'irony' of a replicant replicant hunter. But from another POV it's also totally the opposite. Based on the Alien reboots, Frankenstein's monster should hate and want to destroy its father (or creator god) but in this one... maybe not so much.
But also the ironic impact of the replicant replicant hunter is also proven to be toothless and meaningless.
Just how much does the reveal sting here? Not much.
In fact, not at all.
To all the fanboys who defend the Deckard as replicant (up to and including Scott himself) the practical cinematic application of the concept is finally shown to not really amount to much at all.
If 'irony' is as meaningless as all this, then why should anyone bother?
Also, the character of Deckard is proven for certain, once and for all to be the only logical thing he could have been all along (at least in this sequel's Universe, but also as based on Philip K. Dick's original concept.) Even based on one of the first lines here 'replicants are augmented', which Deckard clearly was not.
A minor doubt is inserted later in the game about exactly how far ahead the plan has been going on, but the character who mentions it is too young, and dates after the file blackout to be taken seriously... How could this guy know the details of what went on thirty plus years ago?
Minor quibbles are, why do we get lines like "An emanator"?
If I am gifted a TV I do not state "A television watching machine" for the expository benefit of an audience that is not there.
The script is dumbing things down a bit.
No need for that.
Even non-Science Fiction fans should be sophisticated enough to not require verbal descriptions of a thing we are about to see in mere seconds.
The only other explanation is that someone came up with the name, and was so proud of it that it just had to be included in the script and survive the editing process.
We've seen lots of holograms in movies (and TV's Red Dwarf, for example,) but props for doing a realistically practical one. (I loved it when one showed up in Arthur C. Clarke's 2010 and it was nice finally seeing one on the screen.)
The script is also fairly naive in regards to what is and is not impossible. These folks consider of the idea of a fertile replicant that "That's not possible." Really? Wouldn't the concept of a surrogate, replicant womb be one of the first to come out the development of artificial humans? (Isn't that exactly what RAH's Friday is about?)
And considering that Tyrell was doing all kinds of unorthodox things in secret, would it really be that much of a stretch? How could anyone, 30 years later, know that he did or not do something specific - especially after all records have disappeared?
However, they are allowed to their Universe whichever way they please, so I'd allow it.
The idea of identical DNA seems also a little behind the times. There are no clones in this Universe?
This is a really scientifically backward reveal in an established world of replicants, ...but again, it's their Universe. So, fine.
When asking about whether a memory is real, or not, the wrong question is being asked. The question should not be "is this memory real?" but "is this memory mine?" Since we've seen solid proof that it is real, then why even ask the (obviously wrong) question?
Deadbeat dads have already been proven to be a Hollywood obsession on these old movie revisits: Captain Kirk, Indiana Jones, Superman. Some decades into the future we will look back at this phenomenon and ask ourselves what it was all about.
It's actually well handled here, though.
Maybe they are learning.
The other repeated theme in much of today's science fiction cinema is the blurring of alien, or artificial and human.
I've commented on it, but I see not many others echoing awareness of the same.
The first set of Alien movies end with a human/alien hybrid (a concept which is nowhere near in the first installment.) Species is much the same thing boiled down. Even going as far back as Demon Seed, or not so far back as Star Trek The Motion Picture we keep seeing this same theme repeated.
The theme was, in fact, already established in Island Of Lost Souls but while it seems easy to interpret the motif (if going that far back) as some sort of allegory of racial miscegenation, could it be that the current incarnation is still that same old thing? Are we still obsessed with the idea of the loss of mere racial identity? Or, have we gone truly beyond that outdated fear, and are we now in territory where it truly reflects a true fear of literal loss of humanity?
On the positive side, we get a good, trashy update to the replicant Pris.
The movie stars well and ends well, but in the middle it sets up a few thing it doesn't quite know how to resolve. Why let this guy go? What is actually achieved from transporting this guy, to exactly where and for what purpose? What actually is the plan to force this guy to talk? (The bribe scene is very good, but there is no backup plan.)
Despite the light missteps, the ending is emotional and wholly successful.
We need more adult oriented films like this one. We need more Science Fiction like this.
Check it out.
Last edited by hermanthegerm
on July 13th, 2018, 3:11 pm, edited 7 times in total.
"There is a lot of money tied up in this film and people expect to hear a boom when something blows up, so I'll give them a boom."
George Lucas as quoted by Harlan Ellison's WATCHING