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The theme of the original Blade Runner was "What is it to be human?" or maybe even "What is it to be more human than human?" That theme has since then been explored by other movies with human-like AIs (i.e., robots, androids, synthetics, skinjobs...), given the growth of AI technology since then. 2049 pretty much dodges that, save for the projected AI girlfriend of K. So even thought this theme is being run into the cinematic ground, the virtual girlfriend was the only compelling character in the movie. Given that the original B.R. was the first to explore this theme in a significant way (though 2001 could be said to be the first) the lack of this theme drains this movie from having much of any emotional bond with the audience. It's craftsmanship can't be doubted, but having two B.R. movies that are more about style, than substance, is asking a bit too much.
My only real complaint with the film was the audio, and I hope that was because of the cinema I was at. It got WAY too loud, particularly on some of the higher pitched tones, which made it more than obnoxious but physically painful. When I went the theater was fairly empty and there were no other bodies to soak up some of the thunderous sound-waves, and I hope that those are the reasons a fault for some parts being too damned loud.
I'd like to own the blu-ray in the future since I enjoyed the movie, but if the not so background music is as unbalanced, harsh, loud and sharp as it was for me at the cinema, then its going to find its way to the garbage bin quickly and violently.
Wow...so you said it was lazy but a good sequel at the same time? Are you just trying to be contrary? Oh my god you can complain about anything. Deckard was never overtly called a replicant. Christ you spent the beginning complaining about the story and then half way through said that the story doesn't matter. It's the same run time as the first Blade Runner. You are trying to complain for no reason.
I loved it. The thing I felt it did wrong was depend way too much on the idea that it was going to do well enough to make third film. it just didn’t carry enough on its own. That being said I still loved it. The original was my first sci-fi love and it was awesome to see that they didn’t turn it into an action hero flick. The visuals, design, characters and cinematography were flawless imo. Even though Deckard didn’t have a huge role, he brought some of the most poignant emotions to a film I’ve seen in quite some time. Again I think that if you look at it from the perspective of them planning another movie, a lot of the way they did it makes sense. Sadly it didn’t work out that way. I still hope that they use the Bladerunner universe for other stories at some point. Kinda like the Aliens franchise.
My understanding, and I agree with this from watching the movie, is that the question of whether Deckard is a replicant or human was "teased" in this movie, but not answered conclusively. Wallace strongly indicates Deckard is one, but since he's such a bad guy, it leaves the audience wondering whether he's just lying to control Deckard, to get what he wants out of him. Though, if you watch the "making of" from "Blade Runner: The Final Cut," you'll hear Ridley Scott say, "Of course Deckard is a replicant," and they'll even talk about how they used some camera effects to hint at this. Plus, in a few of the cuts, they threw in the "unicorn" scene, and then Gaff at the end puts an origami unicorn at the door of Deckard's apartment, indicating that he knows one of Deckard's memories. It's also symbolic perhaps that Deckard is a unique and extraordinary creation (we kind of use the term "unicorn" that way nowadays, and perhaps it was meant to connote that at the time).
We all have a subjective point of view, but after watching a few of this channel's reviews, I've come to realise that the guy has a compelling voice, but his observations are lacking discernment. Dude, this film was fucking great. Terminator 3 really WAS that bad. You were right about The Last Jedi though.
Deckard was never confirmed to be a replicant in the film. Wallace implied both possibilities in his discussion with Deckard after his capture. I believe the film makers left this question open deliberately as there are people who believe Deckard is human, and others who believe Deckard is a replicant. Both are relatively large camps and many are passionate about their own interpretations of Deckard. For this reason I think leaving it an open question was the best possible route from a storytelling perspective. I will say Dave, I enjoy a great deal of your work but I do have to respectfully disagree with you on this particular review, as I cannot see it possibly turning out much better than it did as a faithful sequel, and it's easily my favorite film of the last decade. For me, this movie was a glimmer of hope that there is still some creativity and willingness to take risks out there.
I usually agree with your reviews, but you're off base on this movie. It captures the spirit and feel of the first Blade Runner. This carries into the question of what was asked in the first film, where does humanity begin and end. It seems you didn't like the first movie that much, then this review makes sense. Movie reviews are opinions and i guess we're not going to agree on everything. Keep up the entertaining work!
Some time has passed since I've first seen BR2049, and while I certainly loved elements of it, in the end it kind of failed me. It did some things really wrong that it needed to get really right.
World building is one important thing that it didn't do well. It all felt like artificial sets to me. There was this great sequence in the middle of the original where the camera kind of veered off from the main characters, just to look at the world, to take it in. The people, the social contexts, the grime of the old yet futuristic world in the rain. The world in the original felt real, immersive, in your face, dirty and raunchy yet utterly enticing and believable. BR2049 otoh felt quite superficial in those regards most of the time.
Music played a part there as well. In the original the music had soul, melancholy, atmosphere; it just totally worked in tandem with everything else. In the new one, not so much. It hinted at Vangelis, but it lacked the melody and heart&soul. It lacked that stuff very loudly.
I'm not a huge fan of the original - I respect it more than I like it - but to say this sequel is on the same level or surpasses it is pure madness. It's drawn out, big budget, self indulgent fan fiction. Nothing more.
I found the movie disjointed (like sooooo many these days). It took me 3 nights to finish and if it weren't for this video I wouldn't have know Deckard was a skin job. I never liked that idea now I'm even more disappointed. Yeah, Scott is pretentious and so was this flick. I wasn't board by if but I love the original and this did tarnish it now that the Deckard question is canon. He wasn't in the book or the original edit (which I prefer as well).
Dave, there's evidence that is contrary to your claim that Deckard is a replicant. If you recall the scene where Deckard is running towards his vehicle, he opens the door to the garage, all while K just plows right through the wall... If Deckard is a replicant, then why does he open the door? How come Deckard doesn't have the same qualities of a replicant, like strength and speed? If Deckard is a replicant, then why does he get his ass beat throughout the whole original Blade Runner? Evidence doesn't support the theory that Deckard is a replicant.
This are just a few cases throughout the movie (and the original movie) that makes your claim into a baseless conjecture.
You can't call it Blade Runner 1982 unless you call the new one Blade Runner 2017. If the new one is Blade Runner 2049, which it is, then you could refer to the old one was Blade Runner 2019, because it takes place in 2019.
I've heard that China owns most of Hollywood. If so then it would explain why there's not a lot of original material coming out. I recall my last truly exceptional experiences at the movie theater were for The Matrix and The Martian. Nothing has really stood out like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars did.
It's crap! The original was crap, this one outdone it a by a mile!
It's almost 3 hrs long and yet we do not know nothing about the world and its fits or functions. All the slow camera work does nothing except to make you fall a sleep .
Characters are bland and boring and dull. You care nothing about them. Ana De Armas hologram is the fucking best thing in the movie and it's a fake!
It's CRAP people! The movie sucks ass big time! I stopped the torture after about 90 minutes into in and pulled the plug.
Definately agree with you on Jared Leto as the villain. But i think it could have been fixed with one very small change. They should have made his character a hologram. They dont have to make him an actual hologram, he could be broadcasting in from offworld.
Without changing any lines or dialogue it would have added a lot more intrigue to the character, as well as make his "god-creator" image more potent and reinforce the film's theme of playing with memory and accepted truths. Where he now just seems cliched, hologram wallace's musings would make the character seem more distant, aloof, and possibly inhuman; he would be the Deist Clockmaker, who creates the world and then abandons them to their squalor. Does his angel Love actually serve a human god? or is Wallace just another algorithmic program?It also would have provided an interesting mirror to K's situation, a replicant and their hologram moral compass.
Personally, I thought Blade Runner 2049 was the best movie I've seen in more than a decade, maybe ever. It's better than the original in every single way and that saying a lot, considering that the original is one of my favorites all-time. I am amazed that quality movies like this can still be made in this day and age. And yes, it does represent the creative bankruptcy of bloody Hollywood, but the other way around: with all the massive resources of Hollywood, movies like Blade Runner 2049 are so damn rare that you might as well call them unique. Try to see past what you perceive as obvious and you'll love Blade Runner 2049. I think you're used to the average crap Hollywood rolls off the mass production line and maybe you're just jaded, which is totally understandable.
I did enjoy this film, it didn't blow my socks off, but it was good. I did like how they faithfully reproduced the astounding effects and dystopian "Megacity One" feel of the original. I went into it now having watched one trailer or review, and I was surprised to see Harrison Ford reprise his role. Although it was limited, it was essential to the story. I'll have to give it multiple watches to fully make up my mind about it.
1: it was too long and slow. I still liked it.
2: Why do you think Dekard a replicant? Physically, he got his butt beat regularly by other replicants in both movies.
3: Great if viewed through a MGTOW lens. I don't care if replicants can have babies. Why should I?2 But replicant AI and sex bots and the ways for men to have babies without real women? That is radical. I think the film shied away from why this would be a thing.
It's never clear if Dekard is a replicant. It's left ambiguous(as it should be). You're not sure if Wallace is bluffing (he is a bit crazy after all) and Dekard kind of refutes what he's saying so we still don't know.
I was (–> <–) this close to subscribing before I came this review. Br2049, in my personal opinion, is one of my favorite movies regardless if it’s a sequel. Even as a stand alone, this movie was presented nothing less of an artistic allure.
Dave answers his own question about having a more memorable antagonist in the movie than Wallace. It's Luv, I thought she was excellent, I wish more female characters were as well written & performed as her
Whether the movie is good or bad, I will never know. One look at the poster and a few screenshots is enough to make me want to vomit. Sky high budgets and the ability to make every single frame perfect, and what does Hollywood do in all these films? Teal&Orange™ out the ass.
Deckard is not a replicant, that all came about when ridley started screwing around with all the different versions. The unicorn added scene was unused footage from the movie legend and really makes no sense, also Ridley was hired to direct blade runner he had nothing to do with the screenplay or the script. He has taken credit for alot of the movies he has done calling the story his but it is far from the truth, don't get me wrong he is a good director but with an ego. As for BR 2049 its not a sequel to BR that was released in theaters but it is one too one of the many straight to video film cuts. they even made one big mistake with BR 2049 replicants where illegal on earth and why there was blade runners, in this movie I do not remember them giving a reason why they are allowed on earth now so major plot hole.
finally...an authentic truthful reveiw of this "butt rape" of an all time classic movie...all the other reviewers of blade runner 2049...don't listen to'em...i don't know...it's like there lying or something...Dave Cullen is the most honest I've heard so far
I have to disagree. I think your SJW viewpoint on the take-over of hollywood (all legitimate, don't get me wrong) have skewed your perspective even when facing a truly awesome piece of film, making this your worst review ever, hands down. Firstly, the original bladerunner wasn't exactly a "new" property itself, its concepts were heavily featured in a lot of movies during that time period. Terminator, electric sheep, 2001 a space odyssey, all dealt with similar ideas going down the same story-vein. Granted they were all completely different movies, but to say bladerunner was a "new" "fresh" sci-fi movie is not entirely true. It wasn't a sequel, that's about all you can say for it. All ideas present in Bladerunner were a running theme in sci-fi entertainment at the time, is my point.
To also state that 2049 is a cash grab and a bankruptcy in hollywoods imagination department is also BS. Hollywood is mostly full of scum yes, but if this movie truly represented that scumminess it would have turned out to be a vapid, shallow film full of inconsequential action set pieces with the story taking a backseat, all tied into an hour and 30 minute run-time. It didn't do that. It's cinematography, set-pieces, acting and story were all beautifully intertwined to create a film that is arguable better than the original, more complicated and which managed to flesh the world of bladerunner out even more than the original. If anything, this movie proves that Hollywood isn't completely lost yet, and that there are artists in the industry who are willing to take risks in seeing their visions are made. The almost 3 hour run time didn't even bother me, the movie flew by and felt like an hour at most. Every frame there is something to see. Re-watch this movie Dave, you got almost everything wrong with it and it's disappointing to see.
Alexis Geutrege I am not a fan of the original movie, I haven't ever managed to get past the 20 minute mark and I didn't particularly like what I saw. I only enjoyed the concept of bladerunner, (the replicants trying to find who they were), that's it. So saying I liked 2049 because I'm a "fan" is a wrong assumption.
It's also difficult to put your NOTHING HAPPENED phrase into context. What do you mean nothing happened? I won't insult your intelligence by asking "did you fucking watch it?" But thing definitely did happen. Here is why it is hard to contextualise what your saying: did nothing happen in your book, because it wasn't an immediate world-threatening disaster with a big ray of light shooting into the sky and a villain 100 feet tall shooting lasers out of his dick? Or you found it slow and plodding? Two very different scenarios of nothing happened.
And the movie, on an objective level, was very well intertwined, with its story, music, set pieces and yes CGI. Comparing it to other movies like Valerian City of a thousand planets, or ghost in the shell, etc, it achieved what other recent sci-fi films of the modern era have been trying but failing to achieve. It is a throw back to the slower, less world changing, character and story focused movies of the past but made by modern film makers. It is an amazing movie.
In terms of CGI 2049 was the best I've seen in a while, compare the body double CGI they did with Rogue One. I thought the female presented in 2049 was a real person, she wasn't, she was CGI, in Rogue One, you could tell they were fake. That isn't even pointing out the fact that much of what they did were practical effects and actual sets, with CGI added to enhance what was already there, again something most sci-fi movies don't do.
My main concerns were:
1. Replicants replicating.
It's very poetic, but I felt like they tried to shove it down our throats.
2. Jared Leto's character saying that he wants to exploit the pregnancy of the replicants to conquer the world.
3. Harrison Ford been in a another movie he didn't want to (and getting well paid for that).
4. Deckard as damsel in distress.
5. Stranded replicants community.
6. The movie trying to pay homenage to "Tears in rain" with "Tears in snow"
7. K's unecessary death.
I disagree with your opinion on the film duration being too unbearable because of the slow pace. That is what made it amazing. It allowed you to immerse yourself in the film. I never watched the movie needing to be patient, I wanted more and more. The villain Wallace played by Jared Leto was masterful to me. His blindness and seeing robot drone aid was unique as was his philosophical views. When I watched this movie, I felt sad, because this was going to be the last truly great movie that told a free story. It was very new. Two robots giving birth, that is radical. You are letting your bias towards Hollywood, well deserved, blind you to the revelation that is this movie.
I disagree that 2049 is a hollow knock off. the original seemed more shallow and lacking in character. I really did not care or sympathize with any of the characters. Where I could of K and his AI girlfriend.
I like the orignal more because the kind of ambience generated by that film could never be replicated by 2049, but still calling it lazy because it's a sequel is a bit too harsh. Villeneuve is a passionate director and I'm glad that he made a sequel and expanded it the way he did.
Some of your comments on the first film's originality are a bit unreasonable to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I love the film - it was groundbreaking- but it was in of itself an adaption of a book, "Do androids dream of electric sheep?", and not even a very accurate or faithful adaption at that.
I think you downplayed or misunderstood how risky this movie was to make.
The reason we never got a Sequel was because Ridley Scott was afraid to topple his masterpiece, preferring to play with the public perception of Deckard's Replicant status and keep interest in his movie, therefore his work, alive by making the people guess. That's why he released, what now, 7 cuts of the movie? Once he became an accomplished director, he came out in 2014 saying "he's definitelly a replicant", which probably was his original idea.
I don't know the exact reason why the sudden interest in making another movie 30 years after the original came out. But it's safe to bet the reason is: making money. Yeah, Hollywood is a business and wants to turn a profit. Who knew? But, again, this movie was risky, because first it's, as you put it, "a sequel nobody asked for". Second it's a landmark in sci-fi. And third it delves in the complex philosophical question of "what is to be human". A fuck up in this scale is career ending for a director.
And honestly, I think Denis Villeneuve did an excelent job with this. It managed to be it's own movie while still keeping faithful to the original. I understood what was the Blackout without watching the Shorts tying both movies (BTW, watch them if you didn't. They're great), If I hadn't watched the original, I'd have understood what were replicants and the dangers and ethical questions they raised. I understood why they believed a Replicant was important to Wallace Corp (though I believe it's bullshit, because no way raising a child for 15~ years is less resource intensive than manufacturing a fully grown fully capable adult. And they grow at a human-normal pace, as confirmed by Rachel and Deckard's daughter having a childhood withouth anyone noticing she was something special). And the movie added it's own fresh twists, with a full scale Replicant revolt (watch the Shorts), another building up by the end of BR2049, another character which brings a replicant/human duality into question (that nobody brings up). But my favorite part was Joy and K's relationship. A fresh twist that expands upon the Replicant lore, delving into questions of what constitutes a human mind. She's programmed to the user's liking, like replicants do, especially the newest Nexus 9 models. How much are skinjobs minds akin to Joy's? Are they all programed or do they evolve a conscience? Are our own minds just code running?
Another thing I loved about this movie was that it's not your typical "Good vs Evil" flick. Life is never about the "good and evil" thing we're so accustomed to thanks to Hollywood itself, just people with different thoughts and objectives that eventually clash because one get's in the way of the other. Though Wallace and Luv (a.k.a. my new fetish) can be cruel, they're not made out to be villains. They just happen to be the antagonists because the movie is portrayed from K's point of view. It's just a clash between people competing. And it's something rare, because it's difficult to write. Only other piece of entertainment that did this was Fallout: New Vegas, though Legion quests net negative Karma, that's only due to our own perception of their beliefs, which condemn slavery and the inferiorization of women. The legion has it's own rationalization of why that's a good thing, and you can clearly see why they picture themselves as the good guys.
It's never implied in the movie Deckard's either a replicant or a human. Villeneuve tried to keep people guessing, despite Scott coming out and confirming he's a skinjob. And he does a good job at that, too. Light is never shed at Deckard's past. We know nothing about what he did before becoming a Blade Runner. When the Nexus 6 start becoming rogue, It's safe to believe another prototype was in the works. Rachel is confirmed to be a Nexus 7 prototype that never entered production. Her definitive traits were the capability of advanced cognition, to the point of being almost able to fool the VK test. BR2049 introduces the Nexus 8 to the lore, that turned the VK test obsolete, so instead they had a serial number in the left eye, and further adds to the character of Rachel that she was capable of reproduction. Nowhere it's implied she was the first. Eldon Tyrell could have figured the male reproductive Replicant and rolled out Deckard before he figured out the female's reproductive system. Deckard could have been a human or the very first Nexus 7 replicant, the first capable of reproduction, that was put into the Blade Runner force to test his advanced cognition. The ultimate test to see if he indeed believed he was human. It all plays further in that dillema of was Deckard supposed to meet Rachel due to his coding or it just happened by chance.
If you ignore Ridley Scott's words, there's still material to delve in the duality.
In the end, I think it's a great movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Oh, by the way:
Guy pops up "out of reclusiveness", saves the world from starvation, buys Tyrell corp, uses his power and influence acquired from the "saved the world" thing to repeal the prohibition on replicant development and manufacture, becomes obsessed with furthering Replicant development... Yeah, kind of subliminal, but I think Wallace is a replicant too. Perhaps an advanced model developed to preserve Eldon Tyrell's proficiency and further push Replicant development. Maybe he's Tyrell's mind living on in a replicant body. The giveaway for me was that Wallace is blind. The lore explains that the only giveaway of a Nexus 6+ replicant, besides the VK test, was a faint glint in their eyes. Wallace's eyes are opaque (in fact, Jared leto used opaque lenses to effectively act as a blind person), though he uses those flying dildos to see, which further feeds into his god complex, since he can have flying cameras anywhere.
You often make very good points. One thing you are fond of saying is "No one asked for this sequel." Well, here, you are dead wrong, and while it's clear you respect the original Blade Runner, I must assume that you're not a HUGE fan of it, because almost every SciFi fan I know wanted to see a sequel to this.
Secondly, and really, most importantly, Ridley Scott has said, a few times, and quite publicly, that Deckard was ALWAYS a replicant, from the time Scott made the original film. He explained that the unicorn dream shows he's had implanted memories, because otherwise, why the hell would Gaff make the unicorn origmai at the end? Because Gaff was told of Deckard's implanted memories the way Deckard was told of Rachel's.
Also, Scott has talked about how only Replicants have that whole "cats caught on flash camera glowing eyes" look to them, and he clearly shows at least one shot of Deckard in the original with the glowing cat eyes. YOU may not have known if Deckard was a replicant, but you are CLEARLY not a real Blade Runner fan if you made it all the way to 2017 and still don't know that Deckard is a replicant, and always was. Like, DO RESEARCH before these video, eh?
I think 2049 is a miserable, heartless, wonderless, and flat feminist deconstruction of the original that is nihilistic. The fact that feminists don't like it just shows how surface level people are now. It's missing Peoples, the guy who wrote the Unforgiven, and it really shows. Though the character of Joi is really good. The fact that Rachel get's shot in the head is nonsensical and disgusting. Ridley Scott's creepy fingers are all over this thing. I can watch the original many times, but I absolutely never want to watch 2049 again. It seems like they wanted to explore a religion vs. atheism theme though it's mostly glossed over. The world seems like a nightmare created by atheism, but the movie weirdly seems to come down on the side of atheism in that everything that seems human and special is fake. We're just left with Deckard's anger and defensiveness. It's a movie for 2017.
There's a trend that began with Fury Road (which is super overrated) and continued with Logan, 2049, and Last Jedi. We need to stop tolerating pseudo intellectual junk (though Logan is mostly good). In 2049, the thing about Replicants reproducing is meaningless without the presence of religion in the world, but this is only vaguely suggested.
1.Wallace is not the antagonist of the film, Luv is
2.Deckard is not the protagonist, K is. That is why he is not in the majority of the film.
3.Blade Runner is all about long shots and taking in the scenery.
4.The first Blade Runner is a loose adaptation of a novel so calling this movie unoriginal is stupid.
I generally agree with you on lack of oryginality in Holuwood. But I ndisagree Blade Runner 2049 suffered from it. It is not reeboot, reimagining i it is just next part of the story. Like Empire Strikes Back for New Hope. I see it as continuation of the story, and done in interesting way I liked at that. I liked atmosphere, visuals and pacing (I prefer slower one). Characters I disliked were Love and whats her name computer girlfirend...
Wait where is this reveal that Decerd is an replicant? Wallece suggested it but also suggested otherwhise. I actually liked pacing of this movie. I hate modern pace. I also liked villan he could be more flashed out but his obsessive vision is quite understandable for me. I disliked Love on the other side. She was kind of typical action flick bad guy for me. I loved commisioner character.
I loved Blade Runner 2049. Good review. That said, I agree Jared Leto's Wallace was a weak spot in the movie, the character made no sense, had no clear reason for what he did, was (imo) too young.
And it pains me to say it but wtf did Rick Deckerd add to this movie? Harrison Ford could order a pizza and it would be riveting on some level, but he really didn't really push things along here. It was not clear he was established as a replicant (?) but I do plan to watch the film again..
I enjoyed the move well enough. I do admit, a couple times it did feel like it was dragging, but for the most part it was paced very well for a movie of this length. Thank you for the review and your opinions about the movie. The creative drought in Hollywood....hmmm...interesting way of putting it. You're dead on in that statement. There have been way too many reimaginings and reboots of older and sometimes not so old movies...seemingly just to try to make a quick buck off of audiences. I hope they realize that some of the movie going audience is getting wiser and we don't all rush out to see the newest, most shiney version of an older movie.
Can't belivee this blogger!
This blogger is making a career of being wrong. Political or movie themes, his mission in life, which he chosed to accept, is to be always and completely wrong.
He even hates the very bad NuTreks (both Abrams's Treks and Star Trek Discovery) for the wrong reasons!! Talk about being wrong, being wrong for the wrong reasons takes the cake!
He has never been right once. Not once. Talk about dedication.