By Jacob Mello (Austin, TX, US)

 

• A new blade runner, K, is forced on a quest to find a former blade runner who’s been missing for thirty years, after he unearths a discovery that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos.
• Directed by Denis Villeneuve: Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners.
• Written by Hampton Fancher (the writer of the original) and Michael Green: Logan, Alien: Covenant.
• Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford.
• Set in the same world, thirty years after the original Blade Runner.
• Based on the Philip K. Dick novel: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
• Cinematographer: Roger Deakins (the man deserves his own bullet point for his work here.)

There are those who will say this movie is a masterpiece, and there are those who will say it’s a complete shit bomb. Both pretty much have a valid point.

Four years ago, I saw a movie called Prisoners and upon leaving, was absolutely certain that whoever this unknown was that directed it, was someone to keep an eye on. His last few movies have made me nothing short of smug about my initial assessment of the man’s work, and after seeing the way he helmed this year’s blade runner sequel, the jury is in. Denis Villeneuve is this generation’s first real player that can work at the level of the old guard of filmmakers. If he keeps up this level of craftsmanship, it’s not a question of ‘will he win an Oscar?’ it’s a question of ‘how many times over?’

Together with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who I strongly believe – despite whatever else comes out this year – WILL win the Oscar, Villeneuve managed to create one of the most visually stunning pictures I’ve ever been fortunate enough to see.

At the very same time, the story was so full of itself and underwhelming that as time went on, you almost stopped giving a shit how beautiful it looked. Like being in a long-term relationship with Katherine Heigl (heyy-oooh!); and clocking in at a lethargic 164 minutes long, you have plenty of time to get bored here. There was a lot of really cool throwbacks to the original film, but after a while, instead of elevating this movie, it sort of started to make me second guess how much I liked the first one.

Ryan Gosling did a great job, though, looking stoically ahead with dried blood splatter on his face isn’t exactly a range tester for him. The rest of the supporting cast did a great job as well, I think, but the second the one who was playing his hologram girlfriend, and the one who was playing the cyborg “replicant” hooker overlapped to have a three-way with Gosling’s character, I lost just enough objectivity to say for sure if it was great acting, or if it was just an amalgam of the top 5 Pornhub searches personified.

If you can appreciate a great visual spectacle, I recommend catching this one on as big of a screen as you possibly can, but if you’re not willing to give it a bit of leeway, it might not be for you.

PRESCRIPTION:

For other movies based on the work of Philip K. Dick: Watch Minority Report, Total Recall.

Rating: 3/5

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