- Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:09 pm
Here comes my tuppence!
Second viewing yesterday. In short? I don't love this movie, feels like a lot of the niggles I've had with the director's previous work are here too, on TOP of it being follow up to a flawless masterpiece (there I said it, you finally know where I stand, UNEQUIVOCALLY, from my soul, on Ridley's original...)
And yet, it has wonders within it.
- The aforementioned 'revolution' scene. Ugh. Awful awful awful: script, actress' performance, staging - painful to watch second time round. When the fellow replicants all hove in behind her on cue with that grating line about revolution, as though they're in a stage musical! Not, I repeat, good.
- The violence is strangely unaffecting, especially when you recall how punchy and often shocking it was in BR - opening murder, Brion James fight/sudden death, Tyrell's ugly despatch, Zora shooting and Pris fight/Batty extended battle....all incredible and each death is felt viscerally. Even the threat of what's hinted at with James Wong...unnerving and chilling. Fuck, now I think of it even Sebastian's (obviously gruesome) offscreen slaying was more of a gut punch than any thing in the sequel. Bautista? There's def poignancy in his 'sacrifice' once we're aware of it, but up top he's just an unknown character who dies for no reason because he makes an uneccesary lunge for K. Robin Wright's death was handled well, but I still felt no sting at her loss - merely felt perfunctory. Joi's shutdown should have hurt, but it's such a strange setup with her and K that I never quite got to grips with - like, why do replicants not just have relationships with other replicants? Why is it suggested that Leto has created these AI/holograms specifically for this purpose? I realise that in this thirty years later version of that world things are different and replicants are now more slave-like than ever, but why let them have apartments/any freedom at all if thats the case, and not just house them together?
(It's a class/caste analogy of course, I get it - but it simply didn't carry much weight for me...)
- The score. Oh yes, the score. We're pretty much okay to agree now that it's Really Not Very Good, aren't we? Functional and okay, but for a BR movie, and for a score that needs to be the cold, artificial yet deeply profound beating heart of this giant machine of a movie....oh it's sadly a giant fail.
- Villeneuve shouldn't be compared to Scott, they're two very diff talents, but it has to be said that DV is NOT a visionary/visual genius. He brings something great to all his movies, but he doesn't have that wildly visual, exotic, intensely studied and sophisticated eye which RS brings to even his most real-world films....so for me the pairing of Villeneuve and Deakins, who is a bold visualist when he's in bold hands, is both a technical triumph and at the same time a bit...restrained?? This is a very tricky one because I can't quite nail what I feel, but it's just that - a feeling. Individual scenes and shots pop in my mind and are wonderful, but there's a coolness in the approach which is distancing and doesn't vibrate with that extraordinary energy of BR. To be completely fair, Jordan Cronenweth is my absolute favourite DOP by a long way, and again Deakins shouldn't be compared - a different talent, with it's own sensibility. I just wish I'd been completely blown away by ONE shot, the way that BR's famous opening 'Hellscape' did (for instance - because I could easily name ten other jawdropping compositions instead)
- The story worked fine for me. It's another detective story, playing off genre tropes, with a philosophical puzzle at it's centre. Characters were generally good, though there was a little too much of the 'attractive' casting if I'm honest (especially Joi and Luv - which was my initial reaction to the trailer, and turns out I mostly right) The thing which worried me most from the build up was Ford, and how Deckard would be handled, but I have to say I pretty much dug everything about him and what the script did with his part.
- Speaking of though...I have to finish with That Cameo. No not Gaff (which I enjoyed and took entirely for what it was-a little bit of fan service, not harmful to the whole), no - the big one. We're here in the SPOILER THREAD after all, so fuckit: here goes!
I just don't know how I feel about the Rachel double. I was actually pretty excited going in at the prospect of a cameo by Sean Young, in some form, but it turns out to be way more in the line of Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy, and Cushing in The Force Awakens - both of which i HATED! So I think that really coloured and confused my reaction to Rachel. It was actually, technically, done brilliantly - in fact, the film as a whole probably includes some of the best VFX I've ever seen, without doubt. (the city/spinner shots were astonishing...) But it is more than that. I just didn't like that it was such a short, perfunctory scene with such a major part of the original, all capped with a brutal dispatching and what I'm pretty sure is a totally pointless gaff - Deckard calls out the folly of Niander's offering with a cold 'her eyes were green'. Fair enough, that's not a terrible twist in the scene...but the problem is, and I need to double check, Rachel's eyes actually ARE famously brown/hazel?? I'm right, right? Not going mad here? So why the hell draw attention to that detail, which most BR fans will innately know is a falsity, or am I missing the point? (Deckard is lying, just to show how little he cares for this gambit of Wallace's?) If so, that just feels super clumsy and uneccesarily complicated to me. Anyway, in my imagination a way better exploration of that would have been a few scenes/ days of Deckard living with 'new' Rachel, almost kidding himself he can live with the lie (because we want him to, it's Rachel dammit!!) but then he either sees or recalls the skull which Niander now prizes and that triggers him to reject the fantasy/instigates Rachel's destruction or at least rejects her.
Pheee-ew! This really got away from me sorry!! ;-) hope some of these opinionated musings are worth something to someone. And hey - anybody wanna come see it again tomorrow!?
Last edited by ScoJo on Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.