DVD Review - Blade Runner 2049 (Oscar Nominee)
The first issue is that the premise makes little sense. The movie is all about these people called replicants, which are bioengineered humans. This movie and the previous are based on a book by Philip K. Dick in which the replicants are called androids, which implies they're mechanical in nature, but not true. The replicants are all biological, which begs the question of how they're controlled or programmed. There's suggestion that they're given false memories, but why? It's never quite clear why they would need false memories. The idea seems to be to make the replicants think they're human, but the pros and cons, especially in the wake of the previous film, don't seem to have been considered.
This movie takes us to various places in California and Nevada, but I still feel like I don't have a proper sense of this world. For example, there appears to be two kinds of replicants. The newer replicants made by a blind man named Niander Wallace and the older replicants made by Eldon Tyrell, killed in the previous film. The newer replicants hunt the older ones to kill them. Yet, the movie never fully fills out the picture of this scenario.
The movie is at odds with itself with a contradicting plot. The aforementioned Niander Wallace, played by Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad), says the demand for more replicants exceeds his ability to make them. He merely says that cryptically and without any context. It's never explained why the demand is so high. Apparently, the replicants are used as slave labor, but it's never explained what the replicants can do that simple machines can't. Niander's solution is to figure out a way for the replicants to procreate sexually like regular humans. Again, this is never contextualized as to how this would help or be faster than if he built more factories like the one he currently has to make replicants.
Without the movie being able to justify its premise or make these contexts, the movie simply falls apart or worse just becomes boring because I cease to care about its characters. Namely, Ryan Gosling (La La Land and Half Nelson) who stars as K, a newer replicant out to hunt older ones. The movie never makes me care about him. Gosling's performance doesn't help either, which is blank and expressionless, beyond stoic.
Harrison Ford reprises his role from the 1982 film. He plays Rick Deckard. Apparently, he had a child 30 years ago with a replicant named Rachael, played by Sean Young. Because the movie doesn't justify its premise and convinces why Deckard's baby really matters, Ford's presence here doesn't matter. His baby is supposed to represent this beacon of hope, but hope for whom? If it's hope for the replicants, the movie doesn't contextualize or make us care about them, so that we feel that hope too. Deckard's baby just becomes an overhyped MacGuffin here.
Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 43 mins.