Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, and (sigh, and not a good one) Jared Leto
Have I Seen it Before: Well, it's desperate to make me feel like this is a movie I’ve seen before, but…
Did I Like It: I’m absolutely the wrong crowd for this movie, but strangely, i liked it better than some other movies that shall go nameless. I’m not sure if that’s any kind of endorsement or not…
We are beset (or should I say we are receiving a bounty?) of “legacy-quels” lately, new entries in movie series that come roughly ten years or more since the last entry of the series. Older stars come back, more than likely for a quick paycheck. The movie usually has a mind to hand the baton to a new generation fo heroes that could carry on with additional sequels, should the exercise in nostalgia prove to be profitable. Many times there is some canonical jiggery pokery to remove more embarrassing entries from the collective consciousness. Creed (2015), Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Halloween (2018), Star Trek (2009), X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014), Tron: Legacy (2010), and… ahem… Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2008).
Some times the films are quite enjoyable, and inject new life into movie series long thought dead. Often Harrison Ford is in them. I’m still waiting for Die Hard In A Presidential Library, Son of Fugitive, and Still Witnessin’.
And so we are brought to Blade Runner 2049. I’m late to the party, mainly because it is with some shame that I admit that the original Ridley Scott-directed film has never done much for me. I’ve never really cared about picking apart the various different versions of the film. I’ve never really been concerned whether or not Deckard (Ford) is actually a replicant or not. If I’m reaching for a loose Phillip K. Dick adaption, I’m much more likely to reach for Total Recall (1990) or Minority Report (2002).
So, when met with a legacy-quel to a film for which I don’t have a lot of affection, what is there for me to enjoy. Inevitably, this type of film trades in wholesale nostalgia for the previous films in the series, so if Villeneuve and company are doing the job Warner Bros. hired them to do, I’m not going to like what they are cooking. It’s nearly guaranteed.
And yet, the film does reach for more plot than fashion, and for enough of a new aesthetic (in parts) that I dare say I enjoyed myself. Does that mean the film is successful in its goals? I’m not entirely sure. You may have to ask someone with affection for Blade Runner. I’m not that guy.