Monday, 9 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049 - The scoop and digest

K. W. Jeter's 1995 novel Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human was the first to continue, and also contradict events of 1982 film.

For example, literary work claims Pris is human.

Anyway...

Prequel shorts 2036: Nexus Dawn, 2048: Nowhere to Run and Shinichiro Watanabe's stunning anime Blade Runner Black Out 2022 officially bridge the gap between original and main event.

If anybody is capable of avoiding shitquel, Denis Villeneuve can.

Ryan Gosling - Officer K/Joe
Harrison Ford - Deckard
Ana de Armas - Joi
Sylvia Hoeks - Luv
Robin Wright - Lieutenant Joshi
Jared Leto - Niander Wallace
Carla Juri - Dr. Ana Stelline
Dave Bautista - Sapper Morton

Here's the meat of nearly three hours.

Following the bankruptcy of Tyrell, the Wallace Corporation develop bio-engineered humans called replicants, apparently essential for humanity's survival.

Nexus-9 model and blade runner K (as in Philip K. Dick) was created to obey and rid Los Angeles of rogue replicants.

After 'retiring' one such example Sapper Morton, he uncovers a box containing remains of a female replicant who died from C-section complications.

As pregnancy among replicants was thought to be impossible, superior Lieutenant Joshi orders him to locate and kill the child.

Identifying the body as Rachael at Wallace's headquarters, he learns she got very friendly with former blade runner Deckard.

Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to expand production, Wallace sends enforcer Luv to follow K.

A wooden horse bearing the inscription of 6.10.21 found at an orphanage suggest memories aren't implants, but real.

He chats with grey matter designer Dr. Ana Stelline, and after she informs programming replicants with human memories is outlawed, he starts to believe he could be Rachael's son.

Joshi suspends K for failing a behavioural test and he tells porky pies about killing the child.

Analysing horse shows traces of radiation, which leads him to Deckard hiding in the ruins of Las Vegas.

Scrambling birth records covered his ass and he left a pregnant Rachael in the capable hands of the replicant resistance movement.

Luv and co crash party and kidnap Deckard, leaving K for dead.

One-eyed resistance leader Freysa tells him Rachael's child is a girl, and he must do whatever it takes to prevent Wallace from learning the secrets of replicant reproduction.

In truth, K is actually a clone of Stelline.

Even when presented with a replacement of Rachael, Deckard won't cough, and Luv takes him away to be tortured.

K intercepts police spinner and although she dishes out severe punishment, assassin is eventually drowned.

He fakes Deckard's death to protect him from Wallace and they arrive at Stelline's office.

As father approaches daughter, K lays down on steps and succumbs to his wounds.

Visual extravaganza

All hail cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Orange hue of post-apocalyptic Nevada desert is absolutely gorgeous, but I didn't get significance of bee hives.

Lighting is just as eyegasmic, but LA isn't quite as spellbinding.

Does cityscape look any better than it did 35 years ago?

Not really.

Gosling and de Armas are brilliant, Ford doesn't just go through the fan-service motions and while echoing Pris, Hoeks is ruthless.

Smacking of Ex Machina and more so Spike Jonze's Her, K's relationship with virtual girlfriend Joi, who can change sexy appearance at will, is the only thing protagonist cares about.

She christens him Joe, which is somewhat catchier than previous identity of KD9-3.7.

Hologram merging with street walker so K can get physical is both bold and disturbing.

Sex scene is not shown.

Action sequences are importantly sparse, never OTT, and very well done.

Climatic fight between K and Luv impresses and flooded setting is superb.

Going all Rogue One, Rachael's clone appearing how she did in 1982 was achieved through Sean Young, actress Loren Peta and obviously CG.

So, is Deckard a replicant?

Considering this follows the Final Cut, all evidence would say yes, and a Nexus-7 one at that, but we STILL don't know.

Homages

I'm not sure if K's tumbler was meant to be the same as what Deckard sups from and similarly, is firearm LAPD 2019 Blaster?

We also get Atari logo, origami objects and tech receiving intricate instructions.

Tears, snow and rain

Those completely smitten with original will be satisfied, rather than blown away.

In other words, this machine doesn't run as perfectly as hype makes out.

Overly long and occasionally disjointed, this can bask too much in its own beauty.

Did Bautista need to be killed off in the first five minutes?

No.

Leto occupies two scenes, and it's ridiculous how much bullshit megalomaniac spouts.

We wait for Deckard to appear and when he finally does (nearly two hours in), it's a bit of a non-event.

Not long after they meet up, K lets Deckard beat the shit out of him and Ford suddenly blurts out something like "We can continue doing this, or we could go for a drink."

Pretty stupid.

Voight-Kampff test is replaced by faceless voice recognition machine, requiring K to repeat the same words over and over again to pass.

(Frowns).

Ironically, dialogue from Deckard testing Rachael is integrated into a scene.

The observant will note Gosling never smiles.

That's fine, but hooker unnecessarily commenting on this irritated me.

Stop treating the audience like assholes.

Ridley Scott's masterpiece wouldn't be the same without Vangelis' contribution.

In comparison, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch produce soundtrack akin to a bag of Revels.

Luv murders Joshi and tears stream down face.

Crying Freeman?

Despite tranquility of falling snow, K's death didn't tug on heartstrings.

For all its opulence, one of the greatest sequels ever made neglects to include any memorable moments.

Maybe they were lost in time, like [clears throat] tears... in... rain.

Time... to go.

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