Blade Runner 2049 Offers Great Visuals but Nothing Else (Movie Review)

By Chet Dembeck

It is with great reluctance and sadness that I have to write this review about Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is a sequel of one of my favorite and world-renowned sci-fi movies of all times Blade Runner.

Unfortunately, the sequel is so bad that I wish it had never been made. This is especially true as a fan of the late, great sci-fi writer Philip Dick, whose 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was used as the basis for the original Blade Runner movie.  The only good thing I can report about the sequel is its visuals, which I saw in 3D. They were truly groundbreaking in many waysThe unique special effects included a hologram of Elvis, a sexy fantasy housemate that can meld with your girlfriend to create an amazing variety of choices without actually cheating and a dark dystopian atmosphere that promoted an overall feeling of hopeless gloom.

Flat Acting, Bad Script And Poor Plot 

blade-runner-2049-posterNow that I described what’s good about this movie, let me begrudgingly tell you what was so bad.

First of all, 2 hours and 45 minutes is way, way too long for even a masterpiece, and this was far from being one. Therefore, the length of this feature only accentuated its badness. I kept looking at my watch hoping that there would soon be a turn up in the plot or script of this non-delivering sequel.  The acting was also flat, although I don’t really blame this on the actors Ryan Gosling, playing Officer K, the new blade runner, or seasoned thespian Harrison Ford, playing an aged version of his role as the original Blade Runner Rick Deckard.

In all honesty,  I believe Ford should have been left out the film altogether. Not because I don’t like him, but because his appearance comes late in the movie and his broken spirit and poor reason for leaving his now terminated android wife Rachel, seemed unfeeling and nonsensical. The new film manages to not only diminish the moral fortitude of the once highly intelligent and fiercely-loyal Deckard, but it also destroys any idealistic fantasies fans of the original film had of whatever happened to Rick.

To make matters worst, Officer K (Gosling) is no Rick Deckard. His flat dialogue and one-dimensional character does nothing to engender any audience empathy for him or the other characters. I found myself not caring if any of them lived or died.

Don’t Blame Actors 

As I stated above, I can’t blame the actors for the overall ineptness of their acting. After all, they are only reading the lines written by someone else. There were other big names in this huge-budget production, but their performances were so stiff and unmemorable, it hardly makes sense to mention them. They might thank me for that. I will even go so far as to speculate that this sequel may have started out with all of the right intentions, only to be ruined in the making by a series of edicts, or suggestions from the studio and its financial backers.

But it was the poor and even silly plot of this sequel that doomed it from the beginning. The original Blade Runner was based on a tightly-written, noir detective story, while the sequel was based on a disconcerting, unbelievable and plainly silly premise. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who plan to see it by revealing too much of the plot. So, just let me say it revolves around the concept of replicants being able to have children and a quest to find Deckard.

I won’t go any further. If you want to see some really great visuals and listen to a pastiche of the original Blade Runner soundtrack that’s pretty good, then this movie is for you. But if you are a true Blade Runner fanatic and sci-fi aficionado prepare yourself for a disappointing experience that will make you curse under your breath.

© 2018 Chet Dembeck



Categories: Book and Movie Reviews, Opinion

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