Sequels are like any other film, they're either a benefit or a hazard...

If you've stuck with me since the early days, back when I still blogged fairly regularly about subjects other than my own writing and how scatterbrained I can be, you might remember my fondness for Blade Runner. As such, it would not be weird to assume I saw Blade Runner 2049 and you're likely wondering why I haven't given my review yet. Well, truth be told, I have not seen Blade Runner 2049.


There are a number of reasons why, but I need to make it clear right now that no, the sequel's existence will not "ruin my childhood." Yes, I might curmudgeonly state that the appearance of Harrison Ford as Deckard goes against what I myself firmly believe in regards to the original, but should a reasonable explanation be given, I'd be okay with this. Maybe. From what I've seen in the promotional short films (that I'll get to in a minute), I'm not sure I want to buy into what I think is the rationale. But nothing that comes after a thing I once liked will diminish my love for the original thing unless it somehow points out some glaring issue that I've never noticed (and with Blade Runner, I've acknowledged quite clearly the glaring issues posed by a 1982 filmmaker mentality).

But I'm getting ahead of myself. To be honest, there are a number of reasons why I have yet to see this new film, but the main reason is quite simple: I can't sit in a movie theater for almost three hours. Inevitably, I'll need to get up and use the restroom. Heck, this happens during shorter films. And even with those comfy loungers, sitting for that long isn't good on my back. At home we have a ridiculously oversized, overspecced, and underused television. Watching from the comfort of my not so comfy sofa and knowing I can get up as needed will do wonders towards my enjoyment of the film.

The second biggest reason is timing. I'm about to start serious work on the third book in the Kyroibi Trilogy. This is the quasi-philosophical third act in a series that draws heavily from all of my favorite sci-fi worlds. Sentience and what it means to be human is a huge theme in this one and aesthetically, I don't want to see my vision of the Eidyssic home world muddled by what is being called a visually stunning film. I have no doubt that Blade Runner 2049 is a beautiful movie. I just want to keep my head cleared.

Interestingly enough, it was the three short films meant as something of a promotional lead up to the release that both made me apprehensive and curious. The first that came out, "2036 Nexus Dawn," bothered me. A lot. To the point that I actually considered not watching the film at all. In it, we're introduced to a replicant creator with something of an overblown God complex (appropriately played by Jared Leto), who is making the case for why his replicants are safer and much better than those created by the Tyrell Corp.

That's all I can say for those who wish not to have spoilers (but you should be warned I may spoil the original film for those who have yet to see it), but know that what happens in that short was to me at least, the opposite of everything I loved about the original. The focus seemed more about the ethics of creating artificial life rather than the original's exploration of self discovery and what it means to truly live.

And then I saw the next short, "2048 Nowhere to Run." Immediately, you're introduced to a character in a run down bathroom in a dark, crowded, surface level marketplace and my nostalgia meter was tripped. What happens next is not the greatest cinematography, nor is it a particularly well choreographed sequence, but it brought the focus back, around to what was for me, familiar. I became intrigued. I decided after this that I was likely to give the movie a fighting chance to prove it remembered what it was we liked about the first (while hopefully not repeating that which we did not).

But then we got the third film. "Blackout 2022" is something else altogether. Not only is it nearly three times the length of the last two shorts, it's also an anime. This is the one that gives, well, not a spoiler necessarily, but a possible suggestion as to why we have a seventy-something Ford reprising a character who may not have been human. To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with that tidbit, but the story...

Seriously, this is what I now want. A feature length animated film delving into the beautiful tragedy that is the artificial life of a replicant. This story, though short and rather brutal, reminded me most of what I loved about the characters of Roy, Pris, and JF Sebastian. This is the natural evolution of the Blade Runner franchise if such thing were to in fact become a thing. I want more.

I will eventually see Blade Runner 2049, once it's available from Amazon video (these are truly amazing futuristic times we live in). Until then, I'll do whatever I can to avoid spoilers. Perhaps I'll post again once I do. In my next post, I'm likely to go in a rant about how the chronology of the original source material has been changed and why that bothers the crap out of me despite the fact that I don't actually think the book is as good as the film.

But that is a whole mess of something else for another day. ;-)


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