There’s no time like being right on time when a film is released to capitalize on the release, right? Well that would happen on various other websites run by professionals with some excellent big words. They would remark on the hidden layers, how the world is all fake or a damning indictment of how humans sink into a moral abyss.
This is not that type of operation. Shocking I know.
So perhaps given that Blade Runner 2049 is up for some shiny awards this year (having already secured some at the BAFTAs this week) and the digital and retail release of the film has now arrived for all to enjoy on their laptops using a friend’s Google Play account, maybe it’s actually a much better time to revisit one of last year’s most anticipated sequels to what was a bomb upon its original release.
A bomb that became a cult classic with a massive following among Sci-Fi nerds and geeks; Blade Runner. It had done well so long after the original cinematic release which starred Harrison Ford trading in the ol’ Millennium Falcon of Star Wars for Noodles and chasing human-like Replicants who had escaped from their work to Earth, trying to find their creators in hope of living longer than 4 years. To revisit the world created in the 80s now with cast members old and new was going to be a massive up hill battle, especially in the commercial world where money talks and there’s no certainty of returns on the expenses.
Given we’re now into 2018, it’s easier to remark on how the film performed at the time; in short, not great. Basically much like it’s older brother, Blade Runner 2049 has been limping along, pretty much giving Warner Bros another kick in the cinematic goolies, just before Justice League also failed to also light up the bank balance on cinematic release. But why was this? Was the film that bad?
Well that’s the thing, it depends on who you are and what you like. If you’re after the fast paced, wise cracking all action film with explosions every three seconds while a big boobed lady falls in love with the hero…..then this wasn’t it. In fact Blade Runner’s pace at just over 2 and a half hours, made quite a few arses in the cinema quite numb I imagine.
So plot wise, Ryan Gosling (who is only know as K) is a happy go lucky Blade Runner himself going after old naughty Replicants (Human like creations) when he stumbles across something which shall we say, may get everyone jolly upset. You see children, mummy and daddy Replicants aren’t supposed to be able to produce kids. But if they love each other very much….well, stuff be happening. If Humans found out that the Replicants can reproduce, hell breaks loose.
While investigating further at Jared Leto’s office to find what the Replicant was, he uncovers links back to a former Blade Runner; one Mr Deckard played once again by Harrison Ford who had gone missing for reasons you will see. The interesting thing, is that Ryan’s also one of the Replicants and it seems after every mission, he has to go through saying lots of things to prove he’s not going to do naughty as well. Of course, you can kind of see where this will go.
K has a lovely Holographic Girlfriend called Joi (played so innocently by Ana de Armas) who is so supportive and wants to make K happy, that there’s a point where she hires a real woman to superimpose herself over so they can have sex. Because why not? But later on, as K walks past an advert for the Joi Girlfriend Hologram, you may be left wondering if any of it was real.
From a cinematic technical standpoint, the world of Blade Runner comes back with a vengeance in this sequel. The art style, the music, it all hits the right notes and the fans of the original will have had a nerdgasm just on that alone. It was all so superb to say the least.
The plot itself wasn’t actually that bad, and the themes being explored were quite good. A lot of the actors were on good form and to be honest, it’s excellent how many good actors they got involved with the project. Harrison Ford surprised me, really giving his all during various scenes. One notable scene was when he’s with Jared Leto’s weird mother lover’s chracter…. which I will not spoil any more. In essence, the chracter of Deckard grew. The cameo appearance of Edward Jame Olmos as Gaff from the first film too was very welcome.
However it was all unicorns and electronic rainbows as evidenced by Jared Leto as the bloke who now occupies the old Tyrell Corporation. His whimsical babbling at times was just off putting and I honestly was struggling to figure out why he cared so much. Ryan Gosling, well, just was Ryan Gosling so can’t even really comment much more than that.
So what was the problem then with Blade Runner 2049? Well from a commercial standpoint, it was not ever going to be a runaway success simply because it is for a niche audience. Niche, doesn’t mean profitable especially with the budget Blade Runner 2049 had. There were also some meh caused about the sexy scenes, which I found to be not in bad taste and made sense. That running time and pace though, was probably the real killer to be honest and not everyone will ever have the patience to sit through the film as it is.
From my perspective however, as a geeky Lord of Leisure, it was damn good and it was a welcome change to see a film that wasn’t wanting to rush the story or its host of characters along just in time to see the next explosion. It was rebuilding an old world and with that, you had to pay attention to get all the little hints here and there. Yes, it certainly could have had a few parts cut out considering they didn’t add anything to the film, but overall, I was so happy with seeing Blade Runner 2049 last year that I would be very happy to still recommend it now. In fact, do it as a double feature with the first film and it will be worth the time.
This mini meh was not so mini in the end, was it?