BladeRunner 2049: Do Fanboys Dream Of Eclectic Geeks?
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  • A thread so full of spoilers that if you haven't seen the film yet and intend to, then you only have yourself to blame if you read on.

    MASSIVE FUCKING SPOILERS AHEAD
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  • Deckard is an asshole
  • So Bladerunner 2049.

    Critics seem to be falling over themselves to proclaim this as being the greatest sequel ever made.
    I haven't read any of these reviews, but I'm looking forward to going back to see what it was they thought was so amazing.
    Let's cut to the chase then. Bladerunner 2049 is not a bad film. It's just not a particularly great film either. 
    For me it sat somewhere in-between. Suitably adult in tone. Reasonably stylish. Good casting. Yeah, it was alright really, because when all is said and done, what the fuck do you do to make a sequel to one of the most iconic movies in cinema history anyway???

    And therein lies the rub. Bladerunner 2049 is built on a central conceit so breathtakingly stupid that even Basil Exposition fled for the off-world colonies rather than try to explain it.
    Turns out that...hold the fucking phone..Deckard and Rachel had a child.
    O-K
    At the point this was revealed, both myself and the random stranger sitting next to me turned and looked at each other, both of us wearing that clearly recognisable look of "say what now?"

    It's a hard thing to get passed. God knows I like to think I'm pretty good when it comes to suspension of disbelief, but as the central premise to hang your screenplay on, this is a fucking doozy.
    What does this even mean? Robots are fucking other robots and making baby robots, but it only ever happened once and then everyone involved forgot all about it for thirty fucking years? Really?

    That being said, I didn't dislike the film. It's well cast. Hell even Jared Leto's suitably bonkers turn is pretty damn good. Gosling is unsurprisingly perfect, and old Harrison acquits himself well.

    But really. What's it all about? What does it add to the story that's worthwhile? Not much sadly.
    It's far too long (I guarantee it will bore a lot of people senseless), and you could easily hack three quarters of an hour out of it and lose nothing. It's incredibly slow.
    The cinematography is pedestrian and the colour grading is lousy. Doesn't anyone know what fucking black looks like anymore????
    The music (what little there is) is utterly forgettable, and it's somewhat ironic that the only memorable music cue in the entire film was the use of Vangelis' Tears in the Rain over the rather touching ending.

    Ironic that Scott's original is now thirty five years old, but still looks and sounds a quantum leap ahead of this one when it comes to cinematic experiences.

    We're meant to be in L.A. A densely populated future hellscape, but only Agent K and about three other people seem to have cars. There's literally never any other air traffic in the entire film. Where the fuck is everyone?
    Even what little we see of street level pales into insignificance next to the originals convincing world building. I've seen Bladerunner fan films with more densely populated areas than this has. It's quite strange really, and once you notice, it's hard to un-notice.

    So there it it. Certainly not the disaster it could have been, and not a bad film (I'm sure some people will absolutely love it) by any stretch of the imagination. It's suitably thoughtful and adult in tone, but ultimately it's rather ponderous and doesn't really have anything new and worthwhile to add to the original.

    it's a solid three out of five

    g.man
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  • I cannot entertain the idea that this film doesn't suck all the stinkiest dicks yet. It has everything against it, everything.
  • It'd the dictionary definition of "meh" Brooks. Not bad. Not great either. Just a bit pointless.
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  • BR is one of the best movies ever but it took them literal decades to nail a literal final cut. Why even try to follow that. I mean, beyond theoretical payday.
  • Brooks wrote:
    BR is one of the best movies ever but it took them literal decades to nail a literal final cut. Why even try to follow that. I mean, beyond theoretical payday.
    The funny thing is. I don't see this making a lot of money. I can see word of mouth by the mainstream cinemagoer killing this dead in the water.
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  • Haven't read any posts above except OP... but I have my ticket booked for Saturday afternoon. Can't wait.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
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    Where's my Funko Pop.

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    I have not read any of G's spoilers but I am sure he's the prophet on these matters.
  • Yeah, really don't read my review if you haven't seen it, because it spoils everything.
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  • I'm with G on this.

    It annoyed me from the start with the initial text. So they made more replicants? Even though they were outlawed? Why? It was never explained why they allowed more to be made, yes they said that Wallace made ones who would obey, but if it all went to shit with the Tyrell ones, how did he even get the chance?!

    It's definitely too slow, and I appreciate they were going for the feel of the original movie, which when you watch it again, doesn't have a whole lot of story.

    This sounds like I hated the film. I really didn't, but some stuff just jarred with me.
  • This is interesting. Rather highlights a fundamental flaw in making a sequel when neither director can agree on the fundamental premise of the original film...
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    I'm disappointed he doesn't explain/remember the details of Villeneuve's argument.
  • I'm going to disagree with G's assessment/criticism of the central conceit of this film.

    Don't read the following til after you have seen it.
    Spoiler:
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  • Spoiler:
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  • Spoiler:
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  • Furthermore, apparently:
    Spoiler:
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  • This film left it completely open whether Deckard is a replica or not. Which in reflection was handled perfectly when you consider the many versions of the first film.


    The only misstep I feel this film made is the scene with the one eyed woman and her army standing behind her, talking about an uprising. Felt like Apple's first advert.
    equinox_code "I need girls cornered and on their own"
  • hope those who have watched this spotted
    Spoiler:

    Saw it last night and was glad I'd watched the original again the night before. I can't remember the last time I had seen it all the way through (probably in the 90s). Having it fresh in my mind certainly helped get some of the references and understand some of what was going on. If the aim of Villeneuve was to leave as many uncertainties as Scott did then he has succeeded.
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  • Enough of the spoiler tags. This is a thread specifically to avoid having to use them.
    Spoiler:
    equinox_code "I need girls cornered and on their own"
  • Vela wrote:
    I'm going to disagree with G's assessment/criticism of the central conceit of this film. Don't read the following til after you have seen it.
    Spoiler:
    That's a fair enough argument, and I don't doubt it's the one posited by the filmmakers when they started making the sequel and were hashing out their plot, but it just doesn't really wash with me.
    It smacks of someone desperately trying to retrofit the plot of BladeRunner to justify a sequel then just papering over the obvious cracks with ambiguity.

    Let's suppose it's true. If Deckard is a replicant (and Scott has flat out confirmed this on multiple occasions) then it seems unbelievable that Tyrell engineered a scenario where Deckard was actually "special" and had the ability to reproduce, meaning that years before BladeRunner happens, Tyrell sent him off into the wild to be a BladeRunner knowing that sometime in the future he would come and visit him, giving him the opportunity to meet and fall in love with Rachael, his other special project, and they would then go on to have a child.
    That's simply preposterous. If Tyrell had created replicants that could reproduce, then he'd be testing that in a lab somewhere under controlled conditions.
    Alternatively, Villeneuve likes to be ambiguous about Deckard, and I think this is purely to serve his hokey plot, but even if you take it that Deckard was human, then the above still applies and you have the ludicrous scenario where a human has sex with a replicant and the replicant gets pregnant and produces some sort of hybrid of the species. That's an even bigger stretch to suspend disbelief over.

    I think the nature of the replicant is also kept ambiguous to paper over cracks. We're never really told what they are or how they're made (my calling them robots was facetious). They're super strong to the point that they can run through walls. K can glue his skin back together, but Rachael seems to have a skeleton that's so human that it requires microscopic analysis to confirm that it actually belonged to replicant. So what the hell are the replicants really? Again, it's ambiguity for the sake of furthering a tenuous plot.

    There's much I liked about the film though. As with the first, it's at it's best with the scenes about the nature of the self and memories and feelings. I particularly liked the whole Joi scenario/relationship, which was very well handled, but did that really add anything that the first film hadn't already said? Probably not.

    The only big let down for me is the plot, everything else was suitably intriguing and well done.
    Late in the film Deckard tells K that there was this amazing complicated plan where everyone played a part in hiding the replicant child once it was born.
    Now that's logical, but doesn't actually wash either.
    Why is Bautista living beside her grave, putting flowers on it, and hiding clues to her existence in his house...right beside her grave. If you were trying to hide the existence of someone, then that's the last thing you'd do. He's simply there, doing that, because if he isn't then you have no plot. It's lazy writing.

    The child is then taken to that place in San Diego where all the children are working (are they replicants too? Who knows. I like to think not) and disappears. Who took the child from there? How did she come to be living in the city in that isolation bubble designing memories for replicants? Again, ambiguity for the sake of a plot twist.

    Overall, I enjoyed it. It was a decent stab at making a thoughtful sequel to a film that doesn't need one, and I'm just glad that it wasn't the omnishambles it could have been. I dare say it'll probably grow on me with further viewing, but I just felt they went in the wrong direction with the story, and that the whole scenario stinks of franchise building and future sequels that nobody wants.
    I just don't care about a replicant rebellion and a potential war against humankind. That's not interesting. That's not what BladeRunner is about. BladeRunner is about the nature of the self.
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  • Good points G. Could it be that Batista wasn't part of the original plan or that he grew tired of hiding the 'miracle' and left flowers on top of grave hoping they'd be found and the past uncovered.
    equinox_code "I need girls cornered and on their own"
  • Who knows. Again ambiguity to cover plot daftness. I think it was stated that Bautista was a medic in the military (though he's a bit big for that really, and what would a replicant medic be medic-ing? Glue dispenser?) and that he performed the c-section on Rachael and delivered the baby.
    He's just there, doing that now, because the plot requires it.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • G, what did you think of the replicant which was "born" during 2049. The William character stabbed her, I thought, to cause irreparable damage to her reproductive organs. 

    If he was working off Tyrell's research, that would be a feature, would it not? Female replicants being potentially fertile? Maybe male replicants are not, but male humans still can be.
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  • Also you are bang on about what the story is about: the self. Any future films would be far more interesting if they involved quandaries about AI and replicants as sentient beings and how humans react. 

    It's a different take on the themes to how it is handled in the matrix films, foundation and robot novels, 2001, etc. I was convinced Joi was sentient until the adJoi called him Joe as well.
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  • Vela wrote:
    G, what did you think of the replicant which was "born" during 2049. The William character stabbed her, I thought, to cause irreparable damage to her reproductive organs.  If he was working off Tyrell's research, that would be a feature, would it not? Female replicants being potentially fertile? Maybe male replicants are not, but male humans still can be.
    It's all a fudge. The whole blackout of 2022 seems to have been shoehorned in just to obfuscate things further. Wallace has none of Tyrell's data to work from because all data was conveniently lost when that happened...apparently...except when the plot requires it to be otherwise...who knows?
    I just figured he stabbed the new replicant because he's a fucking loon who likes to play God but is pissed off he has no idea how to engineer the replicants to be able to reproduce. Grrrrr! Anger!

    Given the 2022 data wipe though, quite how he even knows that Tyrell accomplished this in the first place is a bit suspect. He's also not old enough to have been in charge all this time, so is he a replicant too? He's clearly enhanced in some ways, but again it's shrouded in writers ambiguity to cloud any logic.

    I really liked the whole Joi/Officer K relationship and the questions it raised. Thought that was written really well and could have gone a lot further. Hell, it would have probably made a more interesting central premise to explore than what they actually went with.
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  • Interesting piece from of all places, Digital Spy, talking about the iffy depiction of women and womankind in BR2049, and the missed opportunities arising from that.
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  • g.man wrote:
    Interesting piece from of all places, Digital Spy, talking about the iffy depiction of women and womankind in BR2049, and the missed opportunities arising from that.

    The depiction is certainly lacking, but the promo line for Joi was was clear indicator th director knows that. Wish fulfilment for men, even replicants. The film quite clearly talks about maintaining "order" both between humans and replicants, and does so indirectly for gender. 

    I never thought for a moment the issue of imbalance was ignored. It was very obviously illustrated.
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