Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blade Runner 2049: My take on the movie (it took me by surprise!)


I hope you’re not going to let reports of Blade Runner 2049’s sluggish opening weekend stop you from seeing the film. I can’t imagine why it opened so relatively weekly ($35million) but it could be chalked up to our fixation with Trump on twitter, news of Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting behavior, the continuing horrors of Las Vegas and Puerto Rico in the news, or, as I theorized to my husband and son who saw Blade Runner 2049 with me, a case of TMI. In a world of short attention spans, do we want to see a two hour forty five minute long movie when we’ve already seen so many gorgeous pictures, read so many articles, and watched so many videos related to the making of Blade Runner 2049, that we felt we’d already seen it, that we were over it, before it even opened?

That’s a stretch maybe, and ironic since I’m one of the thousands of people sharing that content.

The point is, see the movie. It was a surprise to me. It’s true I’m a die-hard Ryan Gosling fan, it’s hard for me to see anything to criticize about him anytime so take my blather about him with a grain of salt but—he carries the movie. Long and lean, he strikes a powerful silhouette as he strides slowly, warily through a life filled with work, little playfulness and pleasure. I’ll repeat what A.O. Scott said of him in the New York Times
He is also, in 2017, something close to what Harrison Ford was 35 years ago: the contemporary embodiment of Hollywood’s venerable ideal of masculine cool, a guy whose toughness will turn out to be the protective shell encasing a tender soul.
While I was expecting noise and futuristic mayhem punctuated with shots of empty landscapes, I was pleased to find a thoughtful, meditative film that explored the ways via technology we are losing our humanity, that we are hurtling into a world reliant on VR and holographic images in place of the real, where machines are ‘more human than human.’

Harrison Ford, who is in the film for maybe a third of the movie, is terrific, as rugged and aging handsomely as a fan of the original Blade Runner (and Star Wars and Indiana Jones) would wish. I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen him display quite the emotional range he does here.


Ana de Armas is Joi, is a hologram type being, programmed to be everything K wants in a woman, everything but real. The loving relationship she shares with K is reminiscent of Her and in a world where replicants are more humans than human beings, Ana de Armas brings a sweet desperation to her need to please. That need drives her to invite the hooker, Mackenzie Davis to K’s apartment. When it comes to needs, you need to see the movie if only for the most amazing threesome I’ve ever seen onscreen. 


Another female standout is Sylvia Hoeks as Luv, a modern day henchman henchperson for Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace, the replicant creator. The lady can kick some ass. Leto, alas, I could easily Let Go (sorry!) He seemed more a cartoonish villain ala Lex Luther in a Superman comic than an all powerful creator.


You’ve heard, you’ve seen, how extraordinary the movie looks. Visually I was mesmerized, the starkness of the landscape, the dystopian feel of the architectural details, compelling. Los Angeles, dirty, cramped, filled with litter and graffiti, and hi-rise after hi-rise clogged together, seems a more real possibility for 2049 as I see my city, building tower after tower downtown.

The plot may need another viewing to fully comprehend but the world that director Villeneuve, along with his production designer Dennis Glasner and cinematographer, Roger Deakins is a masterpiece to be seen.


With Ryan Gosling acting as tour guide, I’ll be happy to return for another viewing.




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