I think Blade Runner 2049 could suck. Not because it will be a terrible movie or anything. I am actually very excited to see it, personally. I think it could suck in comparison to Blade Runner, because it won’t have nearly the same impact on film and won’t add any thing the huge legacy that Blade Runner has created.
Initially a flop when released in 1982, Blade Runner became popular years later. It has become extremely well-liked by sci-fi buffs and cinephiles alike, including the director, Ridley Scott, who thinks it’s the best film he has ever made.
With or without immediate, commercial success, it left quite the legacy in its wake.
Blade Runner helped establish the leading man status of Harrison Ford, who was coming off making hit films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It also allowed Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Edward James Olmos an opportunity to shine in their supporting roles.
Part of the legacy of Blade Runner is its score.
Created by Greek composer Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, Vangelis for short (he’s also known for the Academy Award-winning score for Chariots of Fire).
Vangelis and his soundtrack for Blade Runner are considered to be part of the pioneering movement of electronic music. The AFI (American Film Institute) have also placed his work on both Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire for their AFI’s 100 years of film scores list.
One of the amazing, and perhaps challenging, things about Blade Runner is that it posed more questions than it answered.
Blade Runner’s legacy even affected Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy. He used it as a reference point and even screened it for the crew of Batman Begins.
Can any movie be like this again? How will Blade Runner 2049 compare?
Do we have a leading man with the roguish looks and charm of Harrison Ford in the early 80’s?
Harrison Ford also had some amazing co-stars in Edward James Olmos, Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah. This is also one area in which 2049 is definitely not lacking with Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto and even Harrison Ford returning.
I particularly like this song for Arrival; for a movie about language, it’s powerful that he used voices on the soundtrack.
I am excited to see how he takes us into the world and story of Blade Runner 2049 through music.
I think one of the biggest things that has changed since 1982, is the audience acceptance of ambiguity. This is something Denis Villeneuve, director of Blade Runner 2049 is very comfortable with. Honestly, the first modern equivalent film I thought of was Sicario (one of Villeneuve’s more recent works), where not all the answers are handed to you.
I think of his other movies, specifically Prisoners and Enemy, that stay with you and leave you chewing over them long after you’ve seen them.
Which is exactly my experience every time I watch Blade Runner.
I think Denis Villeneuve might be the only person I’m interested in seeing create a sequel to Blade Runner.
It is important to remember, along with some other great films (Citizen Kane and Vertigo, for example), Blade Runner was essential a commercial failure when it first came out. It was only in the 1990’s when the director’s cut was released without the voiceover and happy ending that Blade Runner became the legendary film it is today.
The fact that there is even a sequel being made speaks to the legacy and greatness of Blade Runner.
Will Blade Runner 2049 stand up next to its predecessor, or get lost in its own shadow? Will it be financially successful out of the gate? What will the legacy of Blade Runner 2049 be?
But only time will tell.
In the meantime while you are waiting for Blade Runner 2049 to come out can I suggest an interesting double feature?
At first glance a strange pairing, but I think this documentary is an optimistic take on some of the ideas that are shown in Blade Runner. It celebrates some of the aspects of the current ‘future’ shown in Blade Runner, and shows the benefits of how of a major city like Los Angeles is set up structurally.
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