Blade Runner 2049

Here’s what I wrote the day after seeing this film:

“Okay, I watched Blade Runner 2049 last night. Well, you know when you go to a nightclub, and it’s a bit crap, so they crank the volume up to try and make it exciting. That. The original Blade Runner was understated – the sounds meant something – here they were akin to the bangs and crashes in a cheap horror movie to make you jump out of your seat. Scenes dragged on for too long to try and impart atmosphere and meaning that wasn’t there. I didn’t care about anyone. Loose threads dangled. It was boring and it dragged. About an hour and a half in I felt I’d fallen into an episode of the Twilight Zone where I would be forced to watch a naff movie forever.”

It is interesting to read reviews from others who feel that this is the best thing they have ever seen, or it is a great effort, or it is a suitable sequel. This is a salutary reminder that people’s experience of art is mostly subjective. I then begin to wonder if my experience would have been different if the sound hadn’t been so high that the crash bangs and music hurt my ears, but no, then I wouldn’t have been able to hear what they were saying. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right frame of mind? No – good films always grab me and in fact I use them to escape any bad state of mind. Perhaps I just didn’t ‘get’ it? No. The last time I didn’t ‘get’ an sfnal entertainment was when I was learning to walk.

In retrospect: The sound needed to be lower and unnecessary loud shit needed to go. Scenes needed to be much shorter because, hey, I get it now so move on. The attempts at arty mystery, seemingly tossed in at random, were a distraction. I mean, what were those bees about and who cares? What was the point of the ‘unresolved’ bad guy with the blank eyes? The next film? Why did I care nothing for any of the characters except, just a little bit, for Deckard?

No, my opinion still hasn’t changed.

One thought on “Blade Runner 2049

  1. Neal,
    You are right, art is subjective. Same as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Remember going to see the original back in 1982 in a movie house in the US Caribbean (of all places) and returning four nights in a row because I knew I was watching a celluloid game-changer. (My dad took me to 2001 in ’68 for a similar thing, when I was 8yrs old – I don’t think he saw much of the movie for all the drugs he was doing at the time!)
    I knew the follow up BR 2049 would not match any expectations, only because I preconceived the ideal follow up to be…there should be no damn follow up at all. (Sick to the gullet of endless sequels and recycling of said sequels). However, I now take to the stand in defense of Runner ’49: sometimes we need to support intelligent Sci-Fi, however opaque, daft or cheesy it may appear to the masses. With every three steps forward of an ‘Interstellar’, we get a two steps back ‘Star Wars XXIII’. Is BR’49 intelligent? I think so. Simply because, if it does no more than make people consider Sci-Fi as a forum for different genres of story (noir, horror, drama, etc.) then it has done its job. I also believe it opens the possibility of high-concept wonderful stories (such as your Dark Intelligence trilogy) to be considered for screen time – or maybe even great production-value TV time).
    Hate it, love it, but every little drop counts, said the little old lady as she pee’d in the ocean.
    Me: I just write stories about doggies. (Maybe I need to think of some AI doggies in space…..hmmmm).
    Cheers mate and keep on writing the wonderful stuff you do….

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