Blade runner 2049 (2017)
Blade runner 2049: Director of Arrival, Denis Villeneuve brings us the sequel of Blade runner, 35 years later. I have a vague memory of the first one but seeing this was a wonderfully reflective experience.
Set in 2049, the film continues its basic premise from the previous one. Almost allegorical, it weaves in a modern version of an age old theory in the world of replicants. The background score is haunting, the lack of emotions is stifling and the art direction is mind blowing.
A true science fiction film, the perfect symmetry and minimalism is unique. No unnecessary blinking lights and technical jargon, here life in the future spells out where the human race is headed, albeit not in the next 32 years perhaps. Technology and it’s advances are so poetically placed, that you feel sad, rather than enthused.
Ryan Gosling’s dead pan expression is perfect for his role. Ana de Armas is enchanting, Jared Leto is quietly menacing and Sylvia Hoeks leaves a lasting impact. Harrison Ford is still rocking at age 75, a true legend.
There are many sequences which leave you dumbfounded. How history, artificial intelligence and the modern ruin of society are woven to paint a morbid and dark picture of the future is fascinating. Long at 163 minutes, it’s worth it!
Ridley Scott directs a wavering line between structure and chaos, creator and creation, going from dialogue heavy, philosophical tones to no protocol, careless abandon which doesn’t befit the plot.
The crew aboard the covenant are a blur between rationality and impulse, confusing the audience at various points, capturing their attention intensely at others.
The vision and execution of the 79 year old director is remarkable as he brings to life a world which is so similar yet so different from ours. He takes risks, some of which pay off, to introduce themes which are at odds with each other, not working together as a whole.
The lack of urgency and lacklustre security or survival mode make for a below average experience.
Ridley Scott does it again! Not only does he take us on a mission which is millions of miles away, but we also get to see a possible future of space travel.
While other films rely heavily on scientific mumbo jumbo or stoic tension, this film flows through its lengthy run, combining easy logic, humour and short doses of drama. Matt Damon shows that he can handle being the only living thing in a frame (barring some potatoes) and entertain us with his eccentricities.
While there is some ‘back and forth’ it jogs our sense of survival and answers more questions than it raises, making it part learning part entertainment. While the audience expects the worse, the story surprises us, especially the climax which has remnants from another recent famous and critically acclaimed film set in the starry vacuum.
Men may not be from Mars, but this film shows how they could survive on it.
The biblical tale of Moses, is gripping in parts and clumsy in others. Not overly opulent and shot with an authentic eye for the era, it falters with the body language, which isn’t serious and the English is casual, which doesn’t tie up the film neatly.
While the special effects and locations are spot on, the casting is varied but not entirely strong. John Turturro (Fading Gigolo) looks out of place as the Pharaoh Seti. Joel Edgerton as Rhamses gives an uneven performance, while Sigourney Weaver as Tuya has a blink and miss appearance.
Christian Bale as Moses gives a sincere insight into his dilemma, and Ben Kinglsey as the elder named ‘Nun’ has a short but powerful role. God is depicted as a young boy, a master stroke by Director Ridley Scott, who has approached the episode differently, trying to weave in more science and less miracle.
The overall effect is a well made film, which has a relatively smooth pace, brilliant action sequences, not supported by the cast and its length at 2 hours and 30 minutes.