11 Oct 2017

Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Velleneuve, 2017)

☼☼☼☼☼☼(☼) out of 10☼

An ornate, resplendent mask that is this (overlong) film's mind-blowing, yet hardly groundbreaking aural and visual design conceals a thin story populated by uninvolving characters, muddled with underdeveloped subplots and deprived of deeper meanings by virtue of the 'spelling out' approach, as well as oft pretending to be more clever than it is.

Its unnecessarily lackadaisical pace is just another attempt to lull the viewers into thinking that what they are watching is a grand, highly poetic, even 'Tarkovskian' piece of cinema and not a money-grabbing spectacle with a bit more (albeit replicated) soul and intelligence than your run-of-the-mill Hollywood flick.

If it's any consolation, we get numerous (loving) homages reminding us of the original's immeasurable influence, plenty of relentless eye-candy whose sweetness looks sweeter on a big screen and some sort of an apology from Villeneuve, via the opening lines spoken by the puppy-eyed (and not to mention miscast) Ryan Gosling.

So, 'I hope you don't mind me taking a liberty' of being generous with the rating and recommending Michael Almereyda's Marjorie Prime - a quiet, dignified and sophisticated meditation on the relation between humans and technology, since it makes a much better use of sentient holograms and features the compelling performances by Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins.

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