After just 35 years, we get a sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic.
All original written content is (c) 2017 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: After just 35 years, we get a sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic. Tyrell Corp. is gone, replaced by the Wallace Corporation and its freaky founder (Jared “Suicide Squad Joker” Leto). Ryan “stone-face” Gosling is an LAPD blade runner who hunts down rogue replicants and lives with his virtual girlfriend, until a long-hidden secret is discovered and forces him to hunt down Rick Deckard (Harrison “Han Solo/Indiana Jones”) Ford) who retired 30 years previous and find out what happened to Rachel.
Written by Hampton Fancher (original Blade Runner co-writer) and Michael Green from a story by Fancher, based on characters from Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick. Directed by Denis “Arrival” Villeneuve.
- Just as visually stunning and cool as the original was, but different. Rather than the dingy and dark LA at night of the first film, this is in dingy and cloudy LA in the day. The cinematography is gorgeous and the sets are just as unique and interesting to ogle. (FROM MIKE: One of the major concept designers from the original, the legendary Syd Mead, also served as one of the concept artists here and it shows. The guy’s a genius.)
- Dave (Drax from Guardians Of The Galaxy) Bautista has an early appearance without heavy makeup and does a great job. He’s big as a house but the dude can act.
- Breasts, breasts, a couple butts and more breasts! Definitely made by a horny French guy. As regular readers know, I gripe about the “bullets to boobs” ratio in most movies where the violence far outweighs the sex. Here it’s the opposite for once! The video billboards from the first film have nekkid pleasure-droids that talk to you (none of ’em have men; apparently future women are above that kind of thing). Plus a bunch of hookers and strippers. My kinda future.
- Great casting choices. Robin Wright (Princess Bride, House of Cards, Wonder Woman) is Gosling’s stern-and-brave boss, Leto, though understated, is still his usual spot-on wacko self, and Sylvia Hoeks is a standout as replicant executive assistant/martial artist assassin Luv. A bonus is a short cameo by the original’s Gaff, Edward James Olmos. Even minor characters have the quirkiness of the original.
- Gotta be the most unusual love scene this century: a prostitute (Mackenzie Davis) merges with Gosling’s virtual girlfriend (Ana de Armas) so they can make love. Unfortunately, they don’t show any nudity, probably only because of the time and expense of the effects, but it’s still bizarre to watch. Before that, he gets her a device that makes her physical to a degree, and she gets paused when a phone call comes in. Male comic geeks everywhere will want one!
- A couple really good plot twists, one of which I saw coming and another that I completely missed. Good story overall with lots of detective work and mystery. And enough nods to the first one without making new viewers confused.
- Harrison Ford is his usual Deckard self, feisty and physical as before, even though he’s older, heavier and wrinklier. And I love his new digs, complete with Elvis, Sinatra and Marilyn holograms.
- Good fight and battle scenes, both with flying cars/ships and hand-to-hand stuff.
- Despite the obvious product placement, it works here, like it did in the first movie, because of the environment. (Good to know that PanAm, which today is only a small railway company and trademark license for retail products, will still be around in 30 years! Apparently, though, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and all US auto companies will not.)
- Another blatant example of FALSE advertising in the trailers and credits! Bautista’s role is done within the first 10 minutes, and Harrison Ford doesn’t show up until the last 30 minutes (of a 163-minute flick)! Shame, shame, shame.
- Because of the two hour, 43-minute length, this feels longer than the slower-paced original. Pace yourself and your drinks.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Dept.: Minor stuff. Guys hitting guys in the face repeatedly without their hands hurting or busing; if we have technology where we can speak directions to computers and monitors, why do we need to press a button to open a car door? And sorry, Mr. French-Canadian director: there is no way in hell that Peugeot is gonna make the vehicles for the LAPD, even in 2049! I could see maybe Honda or Toyota but not a small French company with a name that no American can pronounce (I always thought it should rhyme with “nougat”).
- Sorry, straight gals and gay guys: the future has no beefcake for you.
- A couple freaky gore scenes—watching a new replicant model being “delivered” is kinda gross (although she does have a decent bod). No idea why they wouldn’t use a tube or conveyor belt instead of a giant plastic baggie. Thankfully no bloody eye gouging like the original. But we do get replicant eye washing.
- For some reason, no one seems to have pets in future Cal (other than Deckard). Not even replicant kitties and doggies?
- Gosling gives his usual two-number range of emotions: one and 100, with nothing in the middle. Personality of a robot fish with an occasional freakout.
- No resolution with the Wallace character; almost seems like they forgot about him.
- San Diego will go from a naval base, beach haven and Comic-Con HQ to a “waste treatment area.”
- No end-credits scenes; pretty sure there was nothing at the very end either, but I had to pee so not sure. (Let me an’ others know in the “comments” section below, will ya?)
Blade Runner 2049 is just too cool visually to be seen on TV (or God forbid, a stupid tablet or phone). The sets and the wide shots alone are worth the admission. And you get your money’s worth for time. The tech, the fights, the plot are all very cool. It was smart to place this in LA rather than duplicate NY again, so it can be unique while true to the source. Definitely a future classic for the new generation. But I strongly recommend you watch the first Blade Runner before seeing this; it will add a lot more to your experience.
P.S.: No need to wait 30 years for a neat piece of ORIGINAL ART to hang on your wall or give for a gift! Pascale does hot babes, dudes and cars, future or past. Get something now! Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Bru-Hed are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the Wallace Corporation, the Tyrell Corporation, Stelline Laboratories, the LAPD, replicants, real people or robots. Bru would like a virtual girlfriend and a real hooker for Christmas. But he’ll settle for some dirty DVDs.