Sunday, October 15, 2017

CURRENT REELS: DENIS V.'S "BLADE RUNNER 2049"

It's been a good week since Blade Runner 2049 (2017) came to a theatre near me, but I am just now remembering to jot down my thoughts on it, a sign in and of itself regarding my lukewarm feelings, and a sad truth that the film has failed to hold my interest since the viewing. Visually rich and narratively balanced, it is altogether forgettable, and that's a shame, because Villeneuve's passion for the original is clear as he tries to navigate Ridley Scott's acclaimed landscape of the dystopian future. The run time of a whopping 2 hours and 44 minutes must have put off a fair share of movie goers, while those who did brave the film's length left the theatre wondering why at least a half hour of it wasn't left on the cutting room floor. I am reminded once again that brevity really is the essence of great story telling, whether on celluloid or in print. 

Blade Runner 2049 looks quite the clunker, I thought to myself whilst watching the trailer months before its release. How can a trailer be tedious, I wondered? Having felt every minute of the film's length, I stand by it being a rather cumbersome watch, and this kind of entertainment should not take effort to enjoy. The universe is there, the script is not a hollow mess, in fact, it lends more to the universe than the original did, expanding on things in greater detail and allowing for emotional investment. But, the investment never manifests, because Villeneuve has too many angles to show and too many stories to tell. He is so eager to do it justice, to continue the legacy, to tie his reimagining with that of Scott's neo-noir standard, that every last frame is saturated with inflexible importance. I shudder to think what a "director's cut" would look like.

One character, however, hooked me to the core. Luv, a replicant enforcer brilliantly played by Sylvia Hoeks, is a standout in a sea of sapless faces, a fierce, mean bitch, an antidote to the soft spoken, delicate Rachel with whom the original blade runner, Deckard, fell in love all those years ago. If only the rest of the film had even a hint of her enviable chutzpah...

No comments:

Post a Comment