I went to see Blade Runner 2049 last night.
I wish I hadn’t.
There are so many awful things to say about this film I hardly know where to start.
First of all, one goes to a science fiction film looking for some imagination. There was little here. Once again they had flying cars in a bleak foggy city. So this is imaginative? I realize it was a sequel, but one would have expected some development. I know LA is a pit, but you mean they didn’t get around to cleaning up the fog in the intervening decades?
Second, the plot line is about “replicants” human clones or robots that are just like humans, but without souls. Really? This one is also so worn out. It was interesting the first time, then the first few Terminator films made it more interesting because they kicked in with some cool time travel stuff, but now? Its a yawn. Why not be really revolutionary and chuck the nihilistic, adolescent “Gee, what if in the future we don’t have souls….what if we don’t have souls NOW man??” stuff.
The movie was simply boring. For nearly three hours we were exposed to interminable mumbled discussions about destiny and humanity and replicants and reproduction and so forth. I was happy to see Harrison Ford, but he looked as bored with the movie as I was and he was in the darned thing.
Most troubling however, was not the fact that the script needed a good doctor and the film needed a ruthless editor, but that even at nearly three hours they didn’t do us the courtesy of giving us more of what was going on. Half the time I didn’t know where the hero was, why he was motivated to do what he was doing and why I should care.
Then there was the sexual morality of the film. The hero had a holographic companion who kept flickering in and out of his life. So you can have a real relationship with a hologram? That was dumb and unbelievable. I realize he was a replicant himself and so we were supposed to ask ourselves serious and profound questions about the reality or artificiality of relationships, but then when the hologram girl magically fused with a real girl so the two could have sex it was down right creepy and crude.
OK. Maybe we were supposed to think it was creepy and crude and come away criticizing the artificial sex our society seems addicted to, but that’s a stretch, and we could only have thought it was creepy and crude if there was a bright and pure and solid relationships with which to compare it. There was no value judgement in this except that eventually he switched off the hologram girl.
Some critics said about the first film, which was also set in a dysfunctional Los Angeles, that it was a comment on the sick, dysfunctional world of Hollywood. We didn’t actually need an expensive movie to tell us this. Harvey Weinstein was enough.
Besides, we don’t need to wallow in the filth unless some kind of solution–even a little one is offered.
Ultimately this was not only a badly made film, it was morally pointless and nihilistic.
The cinematography was good and there were some cool images, but otherwise—fugheddaboudit.
It’s a load of ostentatious sci-fi-fi claptrap. The film like the characters was a bad replicant–a movie like the characters–without a soul.