Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - WITH Spoilers


Nexus 9.1 For Sale. One Careful Owner
Jul 4, 2007
Seascale, England
Now that BR49 has been officially released to the world, please use this thread if you want to comment about revealing details from the film.
Just watched it today. I wasn't bored but neither was I impressed.

It was okay - visually spectacular in many scenes and some attempt at a twist at the end but the pacing is typical Denis Villeneuve - snail slow.
Not me, I loved it. Blade Runner wasn't what you'd call an action film and neither is this one. it reminds me of the films from the 40's and 50's where the story was in character building and not blowing stuff up.

The film is certainly slow by today's kill a minute films, but it is, for me, a great one.
Just watched it today. I wasn't bored but neither was I impressed.

It was okay - visually spectacular in many scenes and some attempt at a twist at the end but the pacing is typical Denis Villeneuve - snail slow.

Villeneuve. I liked Prisoners, didn't like Arrival and hated Sicario and 2049. So I guess I'm not a fan.

My 2049 Criticker review:

I didn't like the original. I hated this. There's a big reveal in the middle that Gosling is the chosen one...but I thought that had already been established a half hour prior? Then he meets Morpheus who tells him he's not the chosen one. Then he's trans and the chosen one again. Then not the chosen one after all. Who gives a f*ck? I spent most of the running time dreading that it would end with a sequel tease. If there's another sequel in 30 years, I hope I'm "retired" by then."

And there were ideas put forward in the film such as that if robots can reproduce then they must therefore have souls. Which doesn't seem logical but was stated matter-of-factly. I didn't like that everyone and everything was cold and emotionless. No one has fun in the future? No joy? No laughter? So far we've had a nearly 5 hour peek at this future Blade Runner world and no one even managed to crack a smile. Even screwing a prostitute was about as exciting as doing the dishes.

The critics love this film, no doubt. And it seems audiences do as well (opening night audiences in America gave the film a strong "A-" CinemaScore). But there are dissenters, like this critic blurb I agree with wholeheartedly:

Laura Clifford said:
There are no new ideas here, poignancy achieved by rehashing moments of the original film with dollops lifted from Spielberg's A.I. and Spike Jonze's Her.

Some others reference its "glacial pace", etc.

According to the Wikipedia page, if this is successful then they're all open to more sequels. Regardless of hype I'm done with the franchise. And it looks like Villeneuve will be adapting Dune next? Yay, more cold and emotionless people doing cold and emotionless things! Hooray!
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I saw it today, It was excellent ! (y):cool:
Loved it! The visuals were stunning, the soundtrack was absolutely awesome as were the acoustics in the movie.

Was it as thought provoking as the first? Possibly not, but it is a worthy sequel.
I thought it wasn't bad, it just brought nothing new to the table. AI as depicted in the original is now an ancient and well-worn trope, and this film offered nothing new except that synethic people can now procreate (somehow, apparently). It seemed that paying tribute to the original basically meant saying and doing nothing that in any way elaborated upon the hazy details provided in the 1982 film.
I'm afraid I wasn't too fussed really. I agree that it didn't bring much to the existing story. Nobody was bad, except for Jared Leto as the not-Tyrell guy, but he was burdened with some awful lines. For me, the original film is too self-contained for a sequel like this to work. It was well-made, but too sprawling and the nods that it made to the original didn't work for me.

Also, about halfway I had a thought that took a lot of the tension out. It was this:

Doesn't Luv look exactly like the alien girl from Galaxy Quest?
I thought Leto's Wallace was a subtextual Lucifer-analogue, as a counterpoint to the previous film's God-figure of Tyrell. But they didn't really do much with the idea. They also got carried away with the visual design being pretty, or at least interesting (or just male-gaze fanservice). I thought the original aesthetic revelled in it's ugliness and the dark, dour, brooding elements were actually dark, dour and brooding. This film made the city look nor noir enough, too anime.
Yes, that's true about the city. The city looked either like a drab, wintery Soviet town or a jolly bustling bit of central Tokyo. It never had that cramped, third-world feel of the original. The whole point of the original was that it wasn't somewhere you'd like to go. And it really was overlong. The whole subplot with the hologram lady could have been cut without much trouble. I ended up with the suspicion that someone had thought "If it looks nice, leave it in". And what's with the bees?
Great question::

And what's with the bees?

Maybe with nothing around to pollinate they had to concentrate on making honey.

Oh...Wait nothing to pollinate. (Said in the tone of that iconic scene from Terminator.)
Ah well...

From my post in the no spoiler thread::
Watched this movie over the weekend. It was my daughters birthday, we go to movies to celebrate oddly enough this time at a celebration theatre. She chose the movie and in fact I had miss-laid my brain somewhere while not realizing the movie was just now released here. She, on the other hand, had gone out of her way to re-watch the original to be properly refreshed before watching the sequel.

We got to the theatre ten minutes before the showing and were told we couldn't get in; but it wasn't that they were sold out and we sat with the manager for a bit while he apologized because there were technical difficulties in that theatre. After waiting until after the movie time the manager gave us a free pass and we continued to wait another hour to get into the next theatre with the movie. So barring the popcorn and soda's we got in free.

Without giving spoilers I would have to say that it was enjoyable; however I have to admit that there were several moments that I was reminded of the movie Cherry 2000 with Melanie Griffith, which I would say was not a good thing. Barring that one glitch the movie was well done, though I could say that the feel and sound of the movie was almost too much like the first and that could mar it for some people as it seemed as though they went too far to recapture what they had in the first movie.

My daughter's first observation was right on target with consensus so far; "There are very few women in this theatre."
And what's with the bees?

Probably Deckard's. Their hives are very close to the casino where he has elected to spend his last days, and he'd need to produce his own food in order not to run out of supplies. Anyone with a little military experience would tell you honey is perhaps the best survival food to be found in the wild.

Perhaps they are real bees and serve as a reminder that "nature finds a way", but a case could be made that those bees are artificial, just like the owl in the original film and the sheep in PKD's novella, and that their ability to pollinate and create honey in some barren landscape is an allegory for the human replicants being able to procreate.

Villeneuve said that this sequence (Gosling wandering the ruins of Vegas) was designed like a dream. Finding bees in the middle of this ruined city and its erotic statues is definitely something that wouldn't seem out of place in a dream.
It's just a weird thing to include. Almost everything in BR2049 references the original or the themes of the story and suddenly - bees. I would have thought that Deckard could live off whisky and freeze-dried noodles. Honey seems much too wholesome!

The women thing is interesting, as there's only one human female character in the whole film (quite a good one, admittedly, but still). Both films (and a few others) have referenced men falling in love with artificial women and the falseness/reality of this. I wonder if there is a film where a woman falls in love with an artificial man, or is this a particularly male concept?
The accusations of misogyny that the movie has been targeted with miss the entire point.

The movie depicts the worst possible outcome for mankind's future. Everything is polluted, climate change has destroyed our cities, everybody looks diseased and lives in the gutter, animals are a distant memory, people who own a piece of wood are filthy rich, we have reintroduced slavery... All the problems we are facing today amped up to the max. Of course there's going to be giant naked women on the street. We already have naked women in suggestive poses on giant billboards today. Of course synthetic women will be used as sex dolls and prostitutes. It's not like the filmmakers were trying to show a world that represented their ideal version of the future, or one that anyone should want to live in. In fact it's anything but.

The accusers also conveniently forget that other than Jared Leto's Wallace, the two most influential characters in that world are strong, brave women (Robin Wright's Lieutenant Joshi and Hiam Abbass' Freysa, leader of the resistance). I could even say the three most influential, if we add to that Carla Juri's Dr. Stelline.
I’m wary here of straying into the general area of politics, against forum rules.

First, as with most things, if you analyse this film with the specific purpose of finding things to be offended by, you’ll succeed. But second, as you say, the very point of this film is to depict a failed world, especially from the point of view of its lead character. In order to prod him into doing the right thing at the end (although he might have been planning it anyhow) it seems perfectly logical for a giant naked woman who looks like his dead girlfriend to appear and mock him like a demon. It isn’t titillating, it’s a depiction of a failed attempt to titillate, like the broken statues in Vegas.

Both films are detective stories, and many detective stories (especially noir ones) are told from deep in the perspective of the detective. Everyone else, male or female, exists only in relation to the detective (arch enemy, romantic interest, loyal sidekick etc). This probably becomes especially important in a film where the perception of the detective is an element of the plot (whether he’s a replicant or whether his memories are real, etc).

And of course there’s the satirical issue that, if the best relationship you can form is with a hologram programmed to think you’re great no matter what, things have reached a very low point. Actually, I found the Joy parts one of the weakest bits of the film: partly because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me (does every Joy dream of being a real person like his version? If so, why is his experience special? If not, why does his particular version of Joy want this?) and partly because it felt like a different film superimposed on this one. It also could have been cut without much damage. But anyway, I agree with you.
Actually, I found the Joy parts one of the weakest bits of the film: partly because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me (does every Joy dream of being a real person like his version? If so, why is his experience special? If not, why does his particular version of Joy want this?)

Why is this experience special?
> I think you already answered this question in your message, when you said that "many detective stories (especially noir ones) are told from deep in the perspective of the detective." Indeed, the only thing that makes this experience special is the fact that it happens to our protagonist and not to someone else.

I liked the Joi subplot, even though it treaded ground already well trodden by other SF authors and artists, most notably in the recent Spike Jonze film, Her. The infamous sex scene had an impact on me. It's probably the first time a sex scene in a movie does not bother me, I usually find them completely useless and gratuitous. Sex scenes are one of these things that benefit from being suggested as opposed to shown, and I'm always grateful to filmmakers who cut or fade to black before things become too physical between two - or more - characters. In this case however, I found the scene quite mesmerising.

Regarding the length of the movie, I agree that there were editing issues in BR 2049, and that 10 minutes or so of the film could have been shaved off by trimming some of the less interesting dialogue scenes. But when it comes to the overall pace of the film, I think the filmmakers tried to induce a dreamlike state in the audience, and a slower, more contemplative pace was the way to go to succeed. I don't think a 120-minute version of Blade Runner 2049 would have worked at all.

Many people including myself compared the film to an old 70s SF story, and in particular Tarkovsky's films like Solaris or Stalker, which are almost designed to be uneventful yet immersive experiences inside a world that slowly lulls the viewer into a kind of meditative state. I am not only grateful to the filmmakers for attempting such a bold move in 2017, when the blockbuster industry now relies almost exclusively on fast cuts to numb the audience into thinking they are enjoying an experience that their brains cannot even process, but I also think they succeeded in every way. BR 2049 is a little too long. But as far as I'm concerned, it is never slow or dull.
I saw Blade Runner a few years ago for the first time, and thought it was excellent. It seemed well ahead of its time.

2049 was okay. I was really enjoying it, but there was a point where I began to lose interest (some of my favourite films are 'slow', so it takes more than that). I didn't really feel for any of the main characters, and the world didn't feel as well realised as the original. I've nothing against lengthy films if they entertain me, but it seems this one could have been a little shorter. I found
the to-and-fro with Gosling quite confusing too, and despite what the lead-replicant said, wondered if he was born a twin

As for the bees, wasn't one of the replicant-test questions in the original film something about what they'd do if there was a wasp on their arm? So a bee landing on Gosling could be a nod back to that.
I overall enjoyed the film. Though it is far too slow and could do with at least one more substantial action scene to break up the scenes going over the ideas of what real emotion is. The fight early on was a good start. The story, style, soundtrack and atmosphere definitely follows up the original in a way that makes sense as a sequel. I would say it is quite an old fashioned view of the future. I love the scenes with the big cities and Japanese writing everywhere. But this is Los Angeles. The idea of Japanese products and Tokyo city culture taking over the future is a very 1980s/90s view when modern Japan was at its peak in world status. But this is fair enough I suppose as this is a sequel to a 1980s film, and I do still like that theme. It is nostalgic but not to the extreme of recent Star Wars films.

It shows the future as very dark other than the neon. It is bordering on Dystopian. Perhaps not totally as I'm sure some folks will be happy with the various AI that does their bidding. Gosling's apartment interior is one of the closest places to being brightly lit. Why would everyone in the future like dark places?

The people who attacked Gosling's characters and why the children were in the orphanage was glossed over. Just more victims of an oppressive society with wealth restricted to a few.

I thought Deckard would say something about what he felt when/how he found out he was an android? He was referred to as an android/synthetic in this film and doesn't deny it. My understanding was he thought he was human in the original. I suppose his escape 30 years ago to a deserted hotel (which conveniently is not particularly radioactive) was partly his reaction to this. Actually the scenes with Ford were not very good really. At least it gave someone for Gosling to save in an action scene before the end.

So Wallace just wants the daughter because he wants to experiment on her to find out why she may be able to replicate, assuming she can. His assistant seemed to place more value on the emotions though. She could easily have been one of the rebels in another situation.

The twist of Gosling's character not being the son of Deckard was really good. Debatably it made the length of the film worthwhile. It was hinted at with the boy/girl ID mixup and the real daughter getting upset about his dream and that it was someone's real dream. But I thought it could be that they were brother and sister until the reveal.

Other than some beautiful scenes and some cool but dark atmosphere that draws you into the setting I think a story highlight was relationship with Joi, the AI, and how she reacted to being able to join her owner out in the world and have some kind of imitated physical feeling. Not the first film to explore AI emotion but it was well done. Though I see Toby Frost above says they should have cut out this subplot :) So, not for everyone.

I thought the trailer showed more scenes with Sapper Morton? It seemed the big guy would have a role for more of the film.

Is the implication in the end that the synthetics will wipe out humanity? Perhaps after they have worked out how to create procreating synthetics themselves.

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