Blade Runner 2049 Review

As a lifelong follower of the science fiction genre, Blade Runner has always been revered as a classic. Pioneering many awe-inspiring visuals that films today look to for guidance. While I respect Blade Runner for its visual achievements, emotionally the film has done very little for me. I find it a bit mundane and heavy-handed, with little going for it other than the artistic style.

In many aspects, Blade Runner 2049 is very similar.

The film takes place about thirty years after the events of the original Blade Runner. Since then, the world has fallen into somewhat of a dystopian mess. With a new era of blade runners (hitmen, essentially) hunting down replicants (a term for bioengineered humans) of the past.

Blade Runner 2049 follows Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a particularly skilled blade runner on a mission with enough significance to throw what’s left of the world into complete chaos.

Beautifully crafted sets, enticing visuals, and monumental sound design all blend together to make Blade Runner 2049 artistically stand out. Concepts and knowledge only briefly mentioned in the previous film are expanded here tenfold. Scenes are shot and crafted with such delicate precision that viewers like myself will be left completely spellbound. The level of imagination in its design is on par with the Star Wars trilogy, and the perfectionism in the lighting and set pieces is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

However, it is here where I’d argue the film does too much expanding, to the point where it exhausts itself. Dramatic scenes that, overall, carry very little weight last for ten to fifteen minutes, when they could be summed up with two simple lines of dialogue. Instead, the film goes for this melodramatic, philosophical dialogue so that it may beat its themes and messages into the viewers head.

And unfortunately, the themes are all recycled from the first Blade Runner. “What does it mean to be human?” Boiled down, that’s the question Blade Runner 2049 poses to the audience. Only it takes them three hours and way too many dialogue pauses to say it.

With so many needlessly lengthy scenes, the conclusion of Blade Runner 2049 felt all too rushed by comparison. Plot lines that needed more depth and discussion get no such thing, which leaves the audience with just as many questions as answers.

So, while most of Blade Runner 2049 was still entertaining to watch (mostly due to the visuals and Goslings straight-faced performance), I think the story and themes have very little to offer viewers.

The Verdict: B-

-Zachary Flint

Remakes and Reboots and Sequels! Oh My!

Well folks, its happened. Hollywood has completely run out of ideas for major film releases.

So far this year we have received remake after reboot after pointless sequel. And as expected, most fell flat on their faces. Only a select few will stand the passage of time as memorable films.

And from the looks of it, 2017 isn’t going to be any better. So far on the roster there’s:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tale
  • Power Rangers
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Transformers: the Last Knight
  • Star Wars VIII
  • Alien: Covenant
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • World War Z 2
  • Baywatch
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Fast 8
  • Annabelle 2
  • Cars 3
  • Jumanji
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • etc. etc. etc.

Like, what the hell is going on? Everything on this list has already been done!  I didn’t even name all the damn superhero movies coming out, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Now I don’t mean to judge these movies without seeing them, and when I do see them I will judge each based upon their own merit. It’s just very disappointing for me (and many others too) to see so many movies being needlessly and shamelessly redone. Especially when we know its just because studios want to make a bunch of money.

Not one film that I listed above needed any sort of remake or sequel. Some of these films may be good, they may even be great! But they all beg the question why? I love Blade Runner and Pirates of the Caribbean, but the stories are over. Go home. It’s finished. Stop adding to stories already made and make something different.

Alien is my favorite movie of all time, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pumped for Alien: Covenant. But if film makers just keep giving me the same stuff I always want, how will I ever be challenged to try something new? I want to be challenged with new themes and new concepts on the big screen, so maybe its best if we put some of these films to rest.

I’m starting to get pissed off at all these remakes. Hollywood executives don’t care about movie fans and only have an interest in making money. I think that some day soon people are going to catch on to all this remake/sequel bull crap. And when they do, Hollywood will have to get clever and stop redoing things that have already been done.

Zachary Flint