Smash or Trash? New Blade Runner 2049 trailer is here

“Replicants are like any other machine. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit it’s not my problem.”

Don’t mess with a good thing.

That’s the thinking among a lot of us hardcore Blade Runner fans. Ridley Scott’s often misunderstood classic from 1982 has aged like a fine Napa Cabernet: it’s gotten even better with time.

Blade Runner 2049 Announcement Trailer - December 2016

Will lightning strike twice?

A new trailer for its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, is here. If you’re like me you cringed a bit before pushing play on the YouTube video. Again: why mess with a good thing? Is there not enough other storylines and ideas for Hollywood to pursue?

On the other hand there’s many fine ingredients here:

  • Ridley Scott is involved as a producer
  • Talented and proven Denis Villeneuve directs (Arrival, Sicario, Enemy)
  • Icon Harrison Ford returns
  • Ryan Gosling leads
  • Legend Roger Deakins┬ámans the camera (possibly the best ever)

So, lots to like — at least on paper.

Here’s the trailer:

Official Trailer (“Announcement”): Blade Runner 2049

Give it points for scoring where it counts most: the atmosphere (and, is it just me, or does it feel a bit like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, with Ryan Gosling randomly walking across artistically lit sets?).

Above all else, Blade Runner was and is all about the mood. That foreboding sense of dread. This is not the rosy future as imagined by the Jetsons. Rather, this is the very definition of dystopian. A brilliant score by Vangelis with its searing, percolating synthesizer seals the deal. Sci-fi and noire for the ages.

But what I don’t like about these kinds of sequels and reboots is this. Even if they’re good or decent, they will never be as good as the original. And they possibly do harm by tainting the legacy — of the film, and also of the actors and characters, such as Harrison Ford’s Deckard.

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling star in Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runners new and old. Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford star in Blade Runner 2049. Or is this The Shining Part 2?

The original Star Wars is the best. As is the first Halloween. Same for The Wizard of Oz (yes, some one thought remaking an eternal classic was a good idea). Oh, also Psycho. Let’s not even go there.

Fans no doubt want to return to a hellish — yet hauntingly beautiful — future Los Angeles. It seems we can’t get enough of Phillip K. Dick’s vision (“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep”). I will definitely be in line when the film opens later in 2017. But I while also be there with a slight sense of melancholy.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear