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Blade Runner 2

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Saw the movie and liked it very much.  I'd like to see it again.  Like others, I had some quibbles with the story.

Variety compares it to Tarkovsky's Stalker and calls it one of the greatest science fiction movies ever.  Not sure I'd go that far yet, but agree that though it has some flaws, overall it's very good.

http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/blade-runner-2049-review-1202576220/

 

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StephenM   

Yeah, I didn't like it.  I mean, I wanted to like it, and it was really very impressive in many ways, and there were 2-3 really excellent scenes, and a lot of potentially interesting ideas, but ultimately it just doesn't add up to anything particularly coherent or meaningful.  And it takes forever to get there.  The original is a slow movie, but that works to its benefit because the mood is so impeccable you can just slip right into it and float.  The neon blinking and Vangelis's all-time great score carry you along.  This one just dragged every scene out with the assumption that they would be better if they had more room to breathe or something, but without adding atmosphere or advancing the plot or ideas.

There's a dozen different things I could complain about here (from the murkiness of the dramatic throughline to the incoherence of the nature of replicants to the massive potholes to the set design mostly borrowed from a dozen other movies and video games), but I'll just mention two: Everything about Jared Leto's character is awful, from the writing to the design to the acting, and the scene where he murders the naked woman is sickening to no apparent purpose.  He is a cartoonish exaggeration of Tyrell from the first film, transformed from an old-school industrialist into a tech billionaire who (of course) takes sadistic pleasure in torturing with his own hands. Outside of maybe Bond Villains, this trope needs to die.

Second, I found the sex scene disquieting. While it is visually one of the most striking scenes in the movie (primarily from a SFX standpoint rather than old fashioned cinematography), it is also clearly a rip-off of a similar scene in Her. But where that scene turns into a disaster of awkwardness that emphasizes how wrong this whole concept of surrogate sexual partner is, this scene seems to want us to find it beautiful and erotic and even romantic. Considering this is about a man (sort of) having sex with a prostitute while imagining she is his computer hologram girlfriend who probably doesn't qualify as an actual person anyway, I find that hard to do. It seems to reject the whole concept of body & soul humans uniting in a procreative act of carnal love that is so central to a proper understanding of sex.

But anyway. I guess what I'm most disappointed in is the lack of that old Blade Runner poetry. Everything here was so literal--or else clumsily unexplained. The constant pull toward abstraction of the original is abandoned--as is the genuinely strange and primal behavior of Roy Batty and his pals. Nothing here takes tonal risks like that, and nothing here moves me the way that film does.

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StephenM   

Also: 1. The original is still superior on a visual level.  2. Anyone comparing this to Stalker is really, really reaching.

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