REVIEW – BLADE RUNNER 2049 – La La Land sequel sets dour tone.
In Blade Runner 2049, Ryan Gosling returns to LA but now it is no longer ‘Another Day of Sun’. Rather it is rainy and sometimes snowy and sometimes dusty and always misty. Following a thirty five year break here is the Blade Runner sequel no one actually asked for. The good news is that it isn’t awful. Gosling is the replicant cop – no ‘is or isn’t he?’ nonsense here – who must hunt down runaway versions of his own kind and dispatch them. When he comes across a body buried in the ground, he finds himself unearthing LITERALLY a secret that could have huge ramifications on the world.
So the good things are as follows. It looks good. Roger Deakins and Denis Villeneuve have done a bang up job of filming the noir elements and making the world of the near future look real. Gosling is fine. His C3PO impression is well within his range. There’s not much Harrison Ford. As with his return as Han Solo, I find Mr ‘Which Runway?’ increasingly plays himself in a way that is distracting. And the story is interesting and well realized.
The bad things are niggles. So in love with its own visual flair, the pacing does drift into prolonged gazing at itself. The procedural detective work just involves Gosling going places slowly. And I didn’t like the way the film tries to be bigger. The original film was about Deckard killing four replicants. Not much was at stake. He didn’t even reallly have to do it. The new film posits the possibility of a revolution or war and epochal change. Weirdly this largeness is incomplete feeling as if it’s setting up another chapter. Jared Leto’s baddie is a creepy Jesus guy but his sporadic appearances feel like something wasn’t quite worked out.