Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

It's a shame this movie had to have a plot. It so badly wants to be just a loose collection of concepts strung together by rain-drowned dystopian imagery, a three-hour mood. Its best moments are dreamy extrapolations of abstract sci-fi thoughts. What if a hologram wanted to feel? What if a robot dreamed it was a human? What does it mean to make a memory?

But there has to be a story. Being about something means that it has to be about something too. I admire that it doesn't even bother trying to say anything about its ideas. It's content to just let them hang in the air. What it all adds up to ends up being surprisingly intimate, which I liked. It just takes too many steps to get there, some of them egregiously undercooked.

The worst thing in the film (besides Jared Leto's mere presence) is Hans Zimmer's atrocious score. It's nothing but insanely loud bwaaaaaaams, obnoxiously intruding on many of the film's most gorgeous images. It's one of the worst film scores in recent memory. I hope one day we get to hear whatever music Johann Johannsson wrote before he got replaced. Anything would be better than this.

This film is fine. It knows exactly how banal it is and doesn't reach for greater meaning. It's very very pretty. I even liked Ryan Gosling, who I normally think is incredibly boring in this sort of role. If you're looking for genuinely provocative and intelligent exploration of questions surrounding AI and humanity, I recommend the game Nier: Automata, which scooped all of this movie's concepts earlier this year, and it actually does something with them to boot. I don't begrudge this film its emptiness one bit. I'd like it more if it was emptier, honestly. But it's a long way from the pinnacle of this sort of thing.

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