Monday, October 16, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

When this film was first announced I was very trepidatious. I’m very much not a Ridley Scott “Stan”. While his technical skills are beyond reproach, it is often hard for me to find anything personal in his work. The original Blade Runner grew in my estimation when I discovered that it was made after the death of his brother Frank. He let his mourning creep into the work via the morose tone and slow pacing, and the film is better for it. Had he made that film at any other time in his life, that emotion would not have been there. It was a fluke. But how do you replicate a fluke? And how do you do that when the guy responsible for that fluke has been relegated to Executive Producer?

The blunt answer is that Blade Runner 2049 did not manage to repeat that original’s fluke - but that’s OK. Instead of making me meditate on death, this film made me think about life. In Blade Runner, the Replicants want to live, simply to live. But what is the point of living when the world is so cold, the trees are dead and all the animals are synthetic. In Blade Runner 2049 the Replicants have something to live for. Robin Wright’s Lieutenant Joshi speaks about preserving a balance which is essentially an argument for stasis. Blade Runner 2049 at least attempts to upend that stasis. Let’s shake things up and see what happens. Tomorrow could be a brighter day.

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