In the future, men won’t have sex with real women, but synthetic ones… I have a feeling most of the guys that saw Blade Runner 2049 on opening night, aren’t having sex with real women anyways. The theater I saw this at was 90% male so that gives you some insight into the demographic that makes up Blade Runner 2049. I’d be lying if I didn’t have a sneaking suspicion that one or two of the men in the audience, may have someone locked in their basement while they attended this screening.
Here we are, 30 years have passed since Harrison Ford hunted down his last replicant and that guy who looked like a young Danny Trejo left a paper unicorn in front of Ford’s apartment – we get the next Blade Runner. It is great to see that Harrison Ford was on board for the film at his age. While some may have expected Ford to look more wrinkled than a Shar-Pei’s nutsack in a suitcase, he looks great and audiences have welcomed him back to reprise his role. Surprising to many, Ridley Scott is not reprising his role as Director, but as Executive Producer. Dennis Villeneuve (Sacario, Prisoners) is at the directing helm of Blade Runner 2049, fresh off of his eight Emmy nominations for Arrival.
Ridley Scott doesn’t plan on going without a fight. While the plot of Prometheus disappeared like a fart in the wind, he did regain some hope with Alien: Covenant (horrible CGI aside). I know what you’re thinking “Hey, didn’t this movie come out three weeks ago?” Yeah, it did, but Moron Reviews’ advanced screening tickets must have somehow gotten lost in the mail so we had to wait ’til next week for the discounted movie night. By the way, a great method for sneaking into the movies is to walk into the theater looking very worried, holding a flashlight and telling them that you’re looking for your lost child while you charge into the movie of your choice.
I’ve come to realize that people either lacking appendages or having a surplus are always easily fingered for crimes they commit. In The Fugitive it was a one-armed man. In The Princess Bride it was a six-fingered man. Thunderball – the man with one eye. Let me put it to you this way: unless you have two arms, 10 fingers and two eyes – don’t commit any crimes. THEY WILL REMEMBER YOU!
The film starts off with Gosling flying around in a space vehicle that is rumored to be a prototype of Chevy’s 2049 reboot of the Cavalier. Gosling’s first task is to 86 a giant mutation of a man played by Dave Bautista. That’s right – WWF’s Dave Bautista. While Bautista doesn’t give Gosling a steel chair to the go-nards (no, I didn’t misspell “gonads” we called em “go-nards” growing up) they do get into quite a display of fisticuffs. Let’s not forget that David Bautista has a tribal tattoo and his entrance music to the stage was done by the band Saliva. Given that information alone, I feel the beating is deserved. If you don’t remember Saliva (good for you) I will sum them up: Take a confederate from 1865 sans book learnin’ and give him an electric guitar and methamphetamine – you have Saliva in a nutshell. Bautista was also known for his patent move, known as the “Bautista Bomb”. No, it wasn’t something he left in your toilet after dinner at El Pollo Loco, but a move where he takes his victim and puts their crotch in his face before driving them into the ground. On the vegas strip, people actually pay good money for a similar procedure.
Ryan Gosling plays the role of Officer K, a newer replicant whose jobs is to hunt down old replicants that are on the run. The movie exposes that replicants were able to actual procreate and the plot of the film is to find the child of two replicants. Gosling realizes that by being a replicant, his memories are “implants” and therefor not real, but a placeholder to fill the void of an authentic childhood.
I don’t know how Ridley Scott got Harrison Ford to crawl out from his mansion and reprise his role, when he reportedly demanded that his character, Hans Solo be killed off in order for him to participate in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ford reprises his curmudgeoned self and it feels like he never left us. The coolest thing about Harrison Ford is the concentrated vibe of “I don’t give a shit” that he gives off. I bet he didn’t even want to do this movie. He doesn’t live in Los Angeles, doesn’t care to give interviews and really doesn’t mind if he hasn’t been in a big movie in years. He’s the type of guy who probably traps himself inside his home all day and peers out through the windows, waiting for a child to accidentally kick a ball into his yard so he can take it and pop it right in front of their soon to be crying eyes. He was a stagehand for The Doors and even crash landed his plane onto a golf course a few years back. How rock ‘n roll. He probably blamed it on the golf course too.
Harrison Ford doesn’t make his debut until a third of the way through the film. He is holed up in his home armed with weapons, living in solitude with his dog. Sounds like where I’ll be in the future as well. Except it wont be 2049 – it will be the next Cleveland Browns season. I can see why he’d be disturbed by Ryan Goslings unannounced arrival. “Stop & Greets” are bad even in the year 2049, especially with a human apocalypse going on, and this occasion is no different. I was psyched with this movie until Jared Leto showed up. I know Leto is a respected method actor but, I will always think of him as Jordan Catalano in “My So-Called Life” and the lead singer of 3o Seconds to Mars – two ventures I would leave off my resume.
Gosling concludes every work day by returning home to his lonely, bachelor-esque quarters with discriminating terms written on his apartment door. If you thought you were most likely to die alone, living in an apartment, pushing 40 – Ryan Gosling is giving you a run for your money. Big praise to Ana de Armas and her role of Joi – a bubbly, hologram-based, synthetic girlfriend who is a little too subservient to her fake boyfriend, Ryan Gosling. She’s such a great girlfriend that is comes off as unrealistic. The subtext is there – in the future, the sexes will not be willing to tolerate each others bs and thus will opt for some artificial replacement.
It’s good to see Robin Wright back on screen as a “tough as nails” LAPD Lieutenant that Gosling answers to. Lots of tough women in this film which makes me think men will be the ones carrying mace in the future. Sylvia Hoeks plays our main villain with a certain hollowness behind her eyes that is very unnerving.
The film has an obvious social commentary and that is the lack of authenticity in modern day life. Wether it’s living vicariously through others (false memories referred to as “implants”) or substituting real relationships with technology. I think the chord that resonates the most with today’s actual society – is the void of real meaningful relationships. Wether it is Ryan being a replicant – not knowing his parents or his fake hologram-based girlfriend. The message is all the same. Authenticity is no longer sustainable in the future while synthetics offer us ideal substitutes in its absence.
While the film has been a disappointment at the box office (try blaming that one on the one armed man, Ford) it is definitely worth seeing. The one feeling this movie gave me was the sense of “I’ve never really seen anything like this before.” And that is what makes Blade Runner 2049 an exceptional experience. It has a pretty vivid ideation of the future and it projects it with vivid details.
The more movies you see the more music you listen to – it all starts to remind you of some other movie you’ve seen or some other record you’ve heard. Originality is something that every artist should strive for – to bring something new to the audience. The storyline was decent, the plot made sense (albeit not until the very end) but the most important statement the movie made is to show the direction society is headed in, as a whole. No longer will we have to do with actual human beings and all there inferiorities that make them impossible. In it’s place we will have immediacy of synthetic remedies in its place.