Viewed – 25 Ocotber 2017 Cinema
I went into this fairly hyped. It’s been well received for such a long awaited sequel that probably nobody was really waiting for, yet I also had slight apprehension due to the fact of not being the biggest fan of the original. That movie whilst aesthetically impressive (more so for the time) and having some interesting moments and a solid turn from Harrison Ford, was ultimately rather empty and simple, lacking much of the depth or grit I’d been lead to believe. So how does this sequel hold up?
Ryan Gosling plays a Blade Runner who from the off you’re aware is also a replicant (an artificially engineered imitation-human), hunting and putting out of commission rogue replicants who have gone off the radar. Yet on one such mission he stumbles upon a grave of a female replicant who seems to have died in child birth – something nobody imagined a replicant was even capable of doing; conceiving a child. So the hunt for the missing child and answers to Golsing’s own past is set in motion.
Like the 1982 Ridley Scott original, this has a foreboding, dystopian future that is partly awe-inspiring and depressing. It’s a dark, moody vision of Los Angeles full of clouds, smoke, neon billboards and miserable people. Unlike Scott’s vision however this seems intentionally filmed with no real wow-factor, and with admittedly gargantuan set design and vast cityscapes appearing rather bland looking. This look is raised up a notch by some iconic looking, sci-fi imagery not out of place on a book cover or in the pages of a graphic novel, even if much of said imagery seems put there for the sake of it. Gosling is good and his journey of self-discovery is interesting (aided by a hologram girlfriend). Also where the movie eventually goes is clever, with how it ties into the original really well done. Add to this a late-to-the-party Harrison Ford pretty much stealing the show in a surprisingly layered performance, and on paper the ingredients are here to make a great movie. Sad then that the pace is so damn plodding, with almost every scene stretched out for maximum run time with long pauses between portions of dialogue, lingering looks between characters etc. Keeping myself entertained with this was a massive struggle. If some scenes had just been tightened up we’d have a 2hr movie rather than one approaching 3hrs, and somewhat underwhelming visuals aside, such a languishing pace is ultimately what lets the movie down.
If you’re a big fan of the original, you may still get something out of this. However if you want a movie that will keep you gripped throughout, this isn’t for you.
Verdict: 3 /5