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Wick's Review

Created Nov 07, 2017 12:53AM PST • Edited Sep 21, 2020 05:53PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    One needn’t be familiar with Blade Runner minutiae to find Blade Runner 2049 gripping from the start, thought provoking by the middle and shattering at the end. Yep, this terrific sci-fi sequel works for newbies.

    Thus, it’s not just an aficionado’s treat. It’s meat for the masses. Somehow the reverse has become the conventional wisdom. Blade Runner 2 has been derided as a bust. Not only isn’t it a bust, having grossed a quarter-billion dollars, but it works on its own artistic merits, legendary origin story notwithstanding.

    The heavyweight cast impresses less than Denis Villeneuve’s film of Hampton Fancher & Michael Green’s screenplay, based on Philip K. Dick’s characters from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? As to that question, it’s unclear if they do, but if so, they now have a new set of dreams in their cerebral circuitry.

    My one beef with Blade Runner 2049 is a rather big one. The replicants are not believably bioengineered. Perhaps they’re supposed to be nonbiological, which is even less believable. Ryan Gosling’s K comes across as all man-meat, hardly inorganic. That kind of GMO is beyond the ken of mere mortals. More than just wow software, it would require bioengineering that reaches the godly — quite a last-mile problem.

    That said, Blade Runner 2049 deserves many more encomia than criticisms, starting with its deft and even profound exploration of the divide between being human and being more or less human. Fascinating!

    People pondering our increasingly cyborgian world will find Blade Runner 2049 enlightening, in a dark way. SciFi fans will treasure it. Sum up those two and you get an instant classic, 25 years after it all began.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Ryan Gosling is unconvincing as a replicant. When it comes to playing an emotionless humanoid, Leonard Nimoy he ain’t. Nor does he have amazing cheek-bones, which help hold the screen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in the Ryan Gosling fan camp, just not crazy about this semi-human role for him. Of course, I also feel the same way about his predecessor Blade Runner, so there’s a trend at play.

    Harrison Ford returns as said original Blade Runner. Rick Deckard is considered one of Ford’s great roles, but he’s not charismatic enough to fill up the largely internal emotions it requires. Perhaps no leading-man would be, as Gosling fares no better. OTOH, it’s always a hoot to see Harrison hump another big-time gig.

    • Ana de Armas jumps offscreen as a holographic AI named Joi. Ryan Gosling is one lucky replicant to have so fetching an apparition to call his own. (Male replicants are apparently stimulated by visual images of the opposite sex, just as we male humans are.) The intoxicating Miss de Armas dazzled last year in the Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone. Now she’s notched another screen-queen performance as Joi, the perfect girlfriend.
    • Robin Wright etches another strong role as a tough LAPD Lt.
    • Jared Leto is more addled than awesome as the oligarch Niander Wallace
    • Sylvia Hoeks is a bland femme fatale as Wallace’s henchman Luv.
    • Dave Bautista isn’t a convincing replicant either, confirming the trend.
    • Edward James Olmos returns from the original as the blade runner Gaff.
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Android dreams, indeed. Blade Runner 2 poses interesting conundrums of the engineering and ethical varieties. Plus it’s a very impressive film, done in massive scale, at least in terms of crew size and CGI.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Really Great 4.5
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.5
  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Brutal 3.4
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Supernatural 3.7

    The replicants aren’t believably inhuman. Thus, willful suspension of disbelief doesn’t fully take hold.

    Otherwise, there is much in Blade Runner 2049 to examine, reality-wise. Just not now…

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 4.0
  21. Physical Supernatural 4.0


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