Dense and Convoluted Sequel Makes Villeneuve "Blade Ruiner"

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Blade Runner 2049

Has anybody nicknamed Director DENIS VILLENEUVE "Blade Ruiner" yet? Can I be the first?

After having sat through BLADE RUNNER 2049, I'm at a loss to tell you what it was really about, other than that it was about three hours where I sat wondering what was going on. Was it supposed to confuse me? (In cells interlinked. Respond.) Was I supposed to feel depressed? (In cells interlinked.) Was anyone in the show actually a human being with actual emotions?

RYAN GOSLING portrays K, a blade runner -- one who "retires" replicants who have come back to Earth illegally. Why they have to be retired is questionable, since they only have a four-year life span according to all the resource material (which I had to look up, because God forbid I get any information from the movie itself). He lives a lonely existence, and must regularly submit to a bizarre emotional test to prove he is human (or prove he is not -- it's never clear). His only comfort in life is his romantic partner, Joi (ANA DE ARMAS). Joi is an artificial intelligence cloaked in a holographic projection. Ironically, she's the most human character in the entire film, and I'm including HARRISON FORD, who makes a return appearance as a hermitic existence in a bombed-out Las Vegas.

The plot--when it reveals itself--is that a replicant female had a baby, something which is supposed to be impossible. K has to find the baby and 'retire' it or the entirety of Earth's utopian existence could come crumbling down. (Where this utopia is, is also up for debate, as the entire place seems to be a dingy concrete labyrinth.) For much of the film, the viewer, and K himself, are led to believe that he is the missing child he seeks. But since memories can be implanted, he can't trust what he remembers. These implanted memories also lead me to believe that K was a replicant himself.

The hunt for this Replicant Child leads K to Rick Deckard, who fathered the child with the replicant Rachael (SEAN YOUNG). And Niander Wallace (JARED LETO) wants to find out where this child is. And that's about all I was able to glean from the film without the aid of psychotropic drugs. The best scenes, visually and emotionally, are the ones involving Ana de Armas, so if you view those clips in succession as a film, you'll have a much better experience.

This Blu-ray comes equipped with all the prologues that are supposed to help you understand how we got from BLADE RUNNER to BLADE RUNNER 2049. There are also a handful of making-of clips that show how to build sets that are vast wastelands of post-apocalyptic proportions.

Grade: 
2.0 / 5.0