The ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is the most anticipated film of 2017 may be an exaggeration, but it is clear that its viewing becomes mandatory from the moment in which it is confirmed to exist. Curiosity was always there, but those early opinions in which many talked about a masterpiece made expectations skyrocket. There was no turning back, they were saying that it was as good or even better than the first and there was consensus about it.
The problem of having that referent when facing the first viewing of any movie is that it only leaves room for disappointment, so it is always preferable to do everything possible not to expect too much of any. It is difficult to do but I hope to be able to contribute to it, since ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is a good movie, it could even be said to be very good – although there I have some doubts – but no, it is not a masterpiece.
Impressive technically but too dependent on ‘Blade Runner’
The 185 million dollars that has cost the film always appear on screen. In fact, the effort in production design is such that I do not remember which was the last tape that was taken care of in that section so as to be able to say that all the planes have an indisputable plastic beauty. There is essential the work of Roger Deakins in photography, being able to assimilate a diversity of colors such that it could easily have given the sensation of being constantly in a film different from that of just a few minutes ago.
That point may lead one to think that Denis Villeneuve does an impeccable work of staging, but this time I do not think he lives up to the brilliance exhibited in his previous works. Here is the feeling that he is limited in trying to reproduce as much as possible what Ridley Scott achieved in the first installment, because there is an undeniable continuity in that section, but it lacks that spark to go further.
However, I also have nothing really negative to say about Villeneuve’s work, simply that what is said of his technical facets may lead one to think that he has done better than he has actually achieved. In his case we could talk about a solvent job – especially when trying to reproduce the atmosphere of the first but with the new additions for the temporary jump – but in which is missing a greater personality, since there is in the Most elements a kind of submission to the original that does not stop you from taking off when every two by three there are situations that lead you to think that at the end will be as great as it could.
The curious thing is that this connects with the very theme of the film about the search for identity, a theme very appropriate for this universe that also draws an interesting evolution for the character played with great conviction by Ryan Gosling . This joins the point where Blade Runner 2049 really connects with its predecessor, working very well as a continuation and posing a series of very juicy issues with which it had the possibility to justify its existence as its own.
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‘Blade Runner 2049’ hooks but lacks more personality
The problem is that Ridley Scott’s comments about really wanting to do more sequels make all the sense of the world because all the fascinating background is not heavy enough and leads one to think about the need to dig deeper into it. The character who suffers most for this is that of an anecdotal Jared Leto who plays to follow the intensity line of the whole film but lacks minutes in it so that we finish believing it. For his part, Harrison Ford is happy to recover the mythical Rick Deckard, but neither is a particularly extraordinary job.
The question that remains to me is the extent to which Villeneuve really interested these details beyond his need to close the central plot arc. In fact, there is a pleasant surprise that breaks the line marked up until then, where he had been very honored with the viewer about this is what happens and we are going in that direction. This means that the mysteries about the identity of the characters are unveiled fast, not playing to the discrepancy in the differentiation between humans and replicants. A success in my judgment of the book by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
Yes there is some point that could have been lightened – the character of Ana de Armas has too many presence and not because she does it wrong, which is not the case – but here comes on the scene another great achievement of ‘Blade Runner 2049’ : two and a half hours of flying time, hooking you up much more than other films whose main objective is precisely that you do not realize that so much time has gone by, and there it helps his “parallel investigation” of a fearsome Sylvia Hoeks.
In the end what really matters is that it catches you and knows how to go further with what was raised in the first delivery, also posing an appetizing scenario for a possible third delivery. Against him he suffers as a movie with an identity of his own, since he never finishes finding it – there are several gaps in the script that turn against him without being ever insurmountable – the same problem that affects several of his characters. I wish there was some connection between these two points, but it all boils down to what seems much better than it is, since in technical terms it deserves that longed for.
In short, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is a film that is worth as much as visual spectacle as a sequel to the emblematic Ridley Scott film, although in the latter there are certain issues that pose without exploring as thoroughly as I would have liked. Already as an individual film has more buts for never completely breaking the chains with its predecessor, but we forgive it if it manages to hook us and make the time pass us by.