I love Blade Runner but I’m skeptical as hell about the new one. It’s been 35 years and a lot has changed. CGI and the visual effects revolution have laid waste to practical sfx and hands-on craftsmanship, Ridley Scott is no longer the reliable visionary he once was and Harrison Ford now has the public image of a grumpy old fart. Why then should I want to go out of my way for a movie I don’t believe in.
Critics are raving about how amazing Blade Runner 2049 is, but I’m still not convinced. Dennis Villeneuve is a director heralded for his fantastic work on Sicario and Arrival so we can assume he can do at least something interesting with the property. Trailers make it look good and the blending of computer graphics with real sets and locations seems solid. My biggest concerns are the story and talent.
This leads to a problem. I have to watch three separate short films to get primed and up to speed before seeing the whole movie. I don’t have that kind of time; I’ve got shit to do. Why the fuck is this part of the story separate from the feature-length film. It doesn’t make sense and it burdens me with extra shit to do on top of revisiting the original movie for the 20,000th time. Just look at these summaries:
"Black Out 2022" Anime Short
In 2022, an EMP detonation has caused a global blackout that has massive, destructive implications all over the world. Directed by Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo's Shinichiro Watanabe, Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is a new and highly-anticipated animated short which serves as a prologue for the upcoming feature film Blade Runner 2049.
"2036: Nexus Dawn" Short
Welcome to 2036. Niander Wallace introduces his new line of replicants. Watch now. #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6.
"2048: Nowhere to Run" Short
Journey into the world 2049 with a replicant on the run. Dave Bautista is Sapper Morton. #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6.
Are you fucking kidding me? 30 minutes of shorts that serve as prologues for a film that’s already 160 minutes long, what is this the Animatrix?! I don’t want to be introduced to Dave Bautista’s character before I see him in the full-length movie, and I sure as hell don’t want to watch a 6-minute clip of Jared Leto preening around as a bobo Eldon Tyrell. I might give the animated one a shot because I dig Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, but as for the other two no thanks.
There hasn’t been enough out there to sell me on wanting to see Blade Runner 2049 aside from some good word of mouth from friends and trustworthy sources. The marketing seems like a mix of pandering to fans and excessive praise for the visuals. I can’t help but call bullshit. This movie needs to deliver. We need a solid sci-fi flick that works, not a cobbled together mess requiring additional homework.