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BLADE RUNNER 2049 (LOGAN AT THE MOVIES)

1982’s “Blade Runner” was hailed as mind-blowing, stylish science fiction at its best. Its long-awaited sequel, “Blade Runner 2049” while its visually more up-to-date its more of the same 

a slow, dull movie.  I personally am not a fan of Ridley Scotts other earlier film “Alien” either, don’t get me wrong I love the story for both franchises but can’t stand the slow burn pacing.

Here recently, Ford’s been lucky enough to bring back 3 of his most iconic characters: Indy, Solo and now LAPD Blade Runner Rick Deckard. providing a fascinating portrayal of a character reflecting on the actions of his past and his outlook for the future. While Harrison Ford starred in the original he’s more of a 3rd wheel here.

This time Ryan Gosling is front and center in “2049” he plays current LAPD Officer K. 30 years later people still rely Blade Runners – cops who hunt and terminate “replicants” – robots with human characteristics. Like Deckard before him, that’s K’s job. But Gosling is too over the top compared to Ford. The side-by-side of the past and present with these two men is one of the main draws of “2049” and when they do finally meet the movie takes a much needed dramatic turn.

While “Blade Runner” balances story with a dazzling visualization of the hi-tech future, “2049” is less about appearance and nearly all about the humanity of its characters even those who aren’t human. Director Denis Villeneuve (of “Arrival”) keeps the same lukewarm pace and dismal but visually appetizing landscape of the world just like the original.

At 2 hours and 43 minutes,”2049″ is the longest major movie of 2017. Villeneuve scenes develop slowly, in doing so it drags. Cinematography is bold and the soundtrack is powerful and often overwhelming and very distracting.

The supporting cast is dominated by female characters that control Gosling’s K in varying ways. Robin Wright (as police lieutenant Joshi) and Ana De Armas (K’s on-again, off-again girlfriend – you’ll get that when you see the movie) are standouts.

“Blade Runner 2049” is a film about connection. Fans of the original will undoubtedly enjoy it, but me not so much.

Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language

I give it a C-

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2 Comments

  1. Space Cowboy
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Logan, this review is hard for me to take to heart. You contradict your own artistic thoughts about aspects of the film with your final score. I have been reading your write ups, and although I am not a fan of your format for your takes on movies, it has been at least informative in a breaking news sort of way. However, when you give this movie a C- after claiming to not like the first one or even Alien, one of the confirmed best Sci-fi/Horror films of all times, it really discredits you as a reviewer, at least particularly regarding this film. Not that your score is wrong, just simply your opinion as you feel it now. Many people gave the first Blade Runner much the same score when it came out in theaters originally but have come to appreciate it. So I write this as a contradiction to your score as a benefit to the audience of this site.

    This movie is a masterpiece of a sequel, cloning the original in thematic elements and visuals, while being its own story, but, yes, is getting some of the same reactions from many viewers as the first had. To say this movie is ultimately just dull and boring, with a sometimes distracting soundtrack, seems to be the result of your own annoyances than with what the film actually delivers. I dare to wonder if it is due to your age or attention span – is this a generational thing? Giving you credit, though, a lot of people feel that way about the first Blade Runner still to this day. But in fact, a lot of people who, after two or three more viewings, later in life, actually love the film. And I think that is how this film will be seen as well. When you really let the movie take you over, I think any complaints become disembodied, and you can experience the depth of the film. “All those moments will be lost in time…like tears in rain.” Blade Runner 2049 is genius and was very risky to have been made the way it was, not trying to change to match the shortcomings of modern audiences.

    I also wonder if you saw this film at a nice huge theater with suburb big surround sound or just rented it, or even streamed it. This movie is designed to be a cinematic experience, so watching it at home is going to dull that aspect of the film, I don’t care how grand your home theater is. Not that that has to have an affect on your opinion, just that you’re missing something by not viewing it that way. But maybe you did. Then I wonder if you also do not like a film such as Once Upon a Time in the West for the same reasons you state here about Blade Runner 2049. That movie is a great Western masterpiece that really drags on, but is not a bad movie with music that also could be considered potentially distracting. What is perplexing to me, is you seem to spot all these wonderful things about the film but then just bash its score in the end just because you got bored. Admittedly, I could have done with a minute or two less of Gosling’s slow walking shots, but that’s part of this film and it works. You are on this journey of discovery with K. That does not make this film be for you, however. So if the film is not for you, then a score needs to be given for those whom this movie has been made.

    Perhaps one day, like those who became transformed into fans of the original, you will learn to appreciate the whole more over its parts later on. Lots of other good online reviewers have this movie in their top ten of 2017, and that’s where I would rank it as well. I do think you give this film a huge disservice by ranking it a C- and wanted to give my disagreement so that I may encourage someone to see it who has considered it as it may be made for them like it is myself. But I would say they need to watch the original first. This movie really is a sequel and although it is written as a standalone and works as one, it does benefit from what comes before for the full appreciation of all the character arcs and the comparison of causality between the two. So if they like the original, then this one should be an ample second course that compliments the first. I understand the movie is not for everyone though, just like the original, but it deserves a score that does not discourage it to be seen, so that such a film may get to as many people who appreciate it as possible, whether that be now or in time. I give it an A.

    • Logan Hickman
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t see either one of these in theaters, i rented both of them and watched them through my own personal surround sound. Anymore i rarely go the the theater due to pricing unless its a superhero movie, Star Wars/Trek or just big action. Now i watched the original with my father few years back, he didn’t get into it either. Don’t think its a generational thing, now in regards to the attention span comment i would agree with that. I’m a big fan of fast pasted and quick cut sequences there was very little if any of that here. Perhaps most of the dialogue went over my head, felt the same way while listening to the Architect in “Matrix Reloaded”. This is particularly why in the closing statement i said fans of the original will likely enjoy it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. Didn’t say i hated it perhaps if they condensed it instead of dragging it out for nearly 3 hours i might have enjoyed it more. I have a couple of movie critics i check on regularly and they don’t always like the same things either so it could just be personal preference as well. To each their own.

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