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Westside Steve

Blade Runner review

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Blade Runner 2049
Warner Brothers
R.                        163 min

So I’ve never been a huge fan of Ridley Scott even though the guy has a huge portfolio of action flicks. Most of the ones I’ve seen I found pretty mediocre and I’ve disliked the entire aliens franchise but my favorite one was the original 1982 BLADE RUNNER. Unfortunately this version is directed by a relatively unknown Frenchman named Denis Villeneuve.
BR1 was at the vanguard of the cyberpunk movement (it’s adapted from a 60s novel by the king of the genre Philip K finger) and a milestone in modern science fiction. Cyberpunk itself is an odd little corner of Sci Fi; a dystopian view of the world that blends the breakdown of society and the squalor produced by over populated cities with stunning technological advances. Remember Max Headroom where every back alley and street corner was festooned with videos screens? Just like technology and automation has slowly been making  human performing grunt labor unnecessary, the natural evolution is the development of smarter and more realistic artificial intelligence units which, if you believe the science fiction writers, will start behaving more and more like human beings. In the world of BLADE RUNNER these creatures are called replicants and almost impossible to tell from actual humans.
30 years ago the mission of Los Angeles cop Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) was busy tracking down replicants that may have jumped the track as far as their programming went and became a danger to humans. He wound up having a romantic affair with one of them named Rachel (Sean Young) before he disappeared.
So now all that time has passed and there are new recruits. One of them is Ryan Gosling as Officer K or Joe or a series of letters and numbers depending on who you ask, and he has a similar assignment. He’s hunting down androids from the older generations on his regular beat when some rather disturbing rumors come up. First of all he has some strange memories but can’t exactly pinpoint their accuracy. Remember one of the hooks is that we should doubt whether he is human or not. One memory in particular of a toy wooden horse he had as a child. He remembers being chased by other boys from the orphanage and hiding that toy from them. He also remembers a specific date carved on its base and that somehow it must relate to another mystery starting to unfold. 
Remember that 30 years ago the replicants were almost impossible to tell from human beings so imagine what advancements will be made in that time. But that’s not the most frightening development. It looks like the DNA of the replicants and the DNA of human beings or at least somewhat compatible because it seems that one of the bio robots has given birth.
But here’s the bad news, at least for moviegoers. Since one of the coolest things of the original  was the stunning sets and effects the modern-day producers seem to have decided that’s all they need. There’s absolutely no doubt you’ll be sucked in by the graphics but as time drags on the story development drags like a ball and chain secured to the plot. Actually the atmosphere and the effects are the only thing that makes it possible to sit through this long and slow presentation (it’s about two and a half hours but seems longer) of pretentious nonsense. Even after the loud and jarring climax you are left with a black feeling of so what? There isn’t any character that you want to see win or lose, except possibly Harrison Ford, and even if you did it’s hard to tell the replicants from the real people so it wouldn’t really matter. In short I was amazed by the visuals but severely disappointed by the snails pacing. 

C
WSS


 

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