Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (Reprint) – Ace Mini-Review

This review originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of AVENues.


Blade Runner 2049
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright
Written by: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Canada/Hungary/U.K./U.S.A., 2017

How good is this movie?

Blade Runner didn’t need a sequel. But if they had to make a sequel, we couldn’t have asked for a better one! Far from being just another action film, it’s an old-fashioned sci-fi art movie. Every scene looks gorgeous, from the familiar images of urban decadence to the beautiful shots of rural sterility. The soundtrack lives up to the standard set by Vangelis. The story is fine, and the characters are reasonably interesting. In fact, at the risk of being sacrilegious, I’ll say it’s a better movie than the original!

How ace is this movie?

K has a girlfriend, but her purpose in the story is less to give him a romantic arc than to give him someone to talk to. Their relationship is certainly sexual, but does not involve much traditional sex. This romance between a replicant and a hologram contains troubling elements that the movie does not attempt to gloss over, but it also does not condemn the characters for their non-traditional lifestyle. More heteronormative is the story of Deckard, Rachael, and their miracle child. The movie’s attempt to sentimentalise this romance is its one false note, and the search for the child links replicant salvation to procreative heterosexuality. On the other hand, this search serves mostly as the MacGuffin that facilitates the movie, rather than an important goal in itself. And K’s happy ending is not about achieving heterosexual union or even finding his biological family, but about being able to contribute to something bigger than himself.

3.5 Stars; 3 Aces

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