The original Blade Runner movie was slow moving, a bit clunky in parts and the acting was wooden. But then again that is what we expect of replicants. The set design and special effects were stupendous. Attention to detail right in the original Deckard flat which used designs from Frank Lloyd Wright were appreciated by many. Of all the story elements in the first movie the one that didn't make much sense was the romantic one. Sure Deckard made a connection with the replicant Rachel but by modern standards his encounter looks more like a rape than a romance.
Fast forward to the 2017 version. The new team have successfully captured the tone and the look of the previous film. They even got a musician who can match the style although I kept looking around for a train or some other traffic at various times due to the extra "horn" sounds. Not sure what they were but they didn't add anything to the film. I believe it was something called a Shepard tone which is an unneeded gimmick.
Tyrell is gone and replaced with some weirdo called Wallace who appears to be blind. He appeared to kill a new "replicant" for no reason other than to look creepy. His sidekick is a kind of anti-Rachel replicant who has her own mission. I don't think we even learned her name which is a bit disturbing if anyone was hoping that a strong female part meant something. Apparently her name is Luv which must be ironic.
What is less ironic is that the very core of the movie hints at something only a woman can do but for the whole movie we see events from the "male gaze" and none of the women are treated as anything more than slaves. The politics of the replicants and humans is part of the narrative but there is no self awareness here at all.
K the blade runner who is the central character appears to be having some kind of identity crisis but since he doesn't feel pain it is hard to tell. I was confused as to why a replicant has a holographic girlfriend but maybe that is part of the general confusion over identity.
However it is problematic that so far the only human we get any airtime with is a police woman who does make a grand speech about the significant of a particular plot element. That speech is more coherent than most of the talk in the film.
I understand the use of a MacGuffin. I'm not sure it is necessary to have the MacGuffin get so much screen time but it is the Deckard character. The whole wander around a deserted casino seems like it was cribbed straight from another '80's movie called Cherry 2000 which featured similar subject matter.
Apparently this is what happens to Las Vegas and the giant statues of women that we see toppled over leads one to think for a moment that perhaps they worshipped women in some kind of long gone world. The film makers could have done something with that but it is clear that the statues were just props like women are in the rest of the film.
After the baddies find Deckard and K the plot lines get thoroughly scrambled. It might also be because that would have been about 2.5hrs into the story. There is an attempt to wrap up some loose ends but in my opinion by then I'd had enough.
There is an action sequence near the end featuring 3 replicants with no real emotional heft which adds to the confusion. It felt like an attempt to rescue the story.
Ironically Roy in the first Blade Runner movie was much easier to make some kind of emotional connection with. Sure he was extreme but he wanted to live and he offered up a range of emotions.
The characters K, Deckard, Luv and Wallace were hard to identify with. Maybe that is the price of mistaking an idea for an actual living thing. It very much seems to me that what we have is a replica of a movie. Something that could have happened in a holo deck but hard to take seriously otherwise.
I really wanted to like it and perhaps if one was to edit out 30 or so minutes it would be much better.