BLADE RUNNER 2049
(director: Denis Villeneuve; screenwriters: Michael Green/Hampton Fancher/story by Hampton Fancher, based on characters from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick; cinematographer: Roger A. Deakins; editor: Joe Walker; music: Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer; cast: Ryan Gosling (K), Harrison Ford(Rick Deckard), Ana de Armas(Joi), Sylvia Hoeks (Luv), Robin Wright (Lt. Joshi), Mackenzie Davis (Mariette), Carli Juri (Dr. Ana Stelline), Lennie James (Mister Cotton), Dave Bautista (Sapper Morton), Jared Leto(Niander Wallace), Sean Young (Racheal), David Dastmalchian (Coco), Edward James Olmos (Gaff); Runtime: 164; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin, Cynthia Sikes Yorkin; Warner Brothers Pictures; 2017
“Though the film dazzles us with its hauntingly beautiful images, it disappoints with its lack of substance.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A breathtaking visual treat in the form of a bleak retro-futuristic sci-fi thriller, but not an easy film to sit through at a lengthy 163 minutes and with so many tedious moments to fidget in. It’s not as good as the original even if it’s faithfully kept close to the original by the French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”/”Sicario”).
The film is based on characters from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Writers Michael Green and Hampton Fancher (co-wrote the original) expand on Ridley Scott’s dystopian 1982 original classic, with more questions about memory and the use of slave labor and about the disgusting looking food production on protein farms. The theme centers around what is real (human) and what is a replicant (humanoid robot). Its dark landscape was elegantly filmed in Hungary, Iceland, Spain and Nevada by the great cinematographer Roger Deakins.
The young soulful blade runner of the LAPD, Officer K (Ryan Gosling), with the K being used to honor author Philip K Dick, whose duties include eliminating older model replicants being replaced by the new version Nexus 9 models that are easier to manage. In other words K’s a slave to the system executing his own kind for some material benefits, which make him unpopular. When K uncovers a long-buried secret while on an assignment, in a mysterious crate, he finds the bones of a woman who died during childbirth some decades ago. When examined closer it reveals that one of the bones has a serial number, suggesting that the woman was a replicant – which doesn’t make sense since artificial humans supposedly can’t get pregnant. While K gets pleasure from his new model pleasure girl Joi (Ana de Armas), a product he bought from the Wallace company, he questions his existence as he sets out to find answers on an unauthorized dangerous mission to locate the hard-boiled Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). He’s the one who supposedly knocked up the replicant named Racheal (Sean Young), who gave birth to the human baby in question. Deckard’s the former blade runner, on the run for thirty years and off the grid. K’s actions get the serious attention of his stern boss (Robin Wright), who fears his actions will lead to a war, and it also alerts the slimy evil replicant designer and empire head Wallace (Jared Leto). Also around as eye candy is Wallace’s sexy replicant fantasy dream girl Luv (Sylvia Hoeks). After too much arty pretentiousness and too much ogling at groovy holograms that can make sex seem more exciting to watch and some troubling killings of disposable women (a film I wouldn’t recommend for women because they are treated as spare parts), K’s quest for truth reaches its climactic underwater fight scene and his meeting with Deckard in his hideaway occurs–which features both Elvis and Sinatra performing as holograms from a dusty Las Vegas casino.
Though the film dazzles us with its hauntingly beautiful images, it disappoints with its lack of substance and its off-putting misogyny.
REVIEWED ON 10/7/2017 GRADE: C+