Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 Reasons Why a Blade Runner Sequel Would Be A Bad Idea

nice shooting, but completely inappropriate rain gear, love
The news leaked out this weekend that the Blade Runner sequel is definitely on. While I'm slightly encouraged that Ridley Scott is hiring Hampton Fancher to write an original script I still think this project isn't a very good idea. Here are the reasons I gave back in March when this was just a horrible rumour:
1) Most sequels are horrible. Even the good ones like The Godfather Part 2 aren’t really a patch on the original. This rules applies even more so in science fiction with the curious exception of The Empire Strikes Back. The Matrix sequels were so completely awful that they managed to ruin the mythology and all the good will of the original.
2) We’ve been down this road before and it wasn’t good. Harrison Ford’s reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the worst film of his career. It was also the worst film of Steven Spielberg’s career. And Ray Winstone’s. And John Hurt’s. etc.
3) Ridley Scott doesn’t understand his own movie.  Scott has repeatedly said that Harrison Ford’s character Deckard is a replicant when this makes no sense at all in the context of the story. Both screenwriters agree that this doesn’t work as a plot device and it makes even less sense when you’ve read Philip K Dick’s original novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This doesn’t bode well for a Ridley Scott retread of this material.
4) CGI will make everything worse. Blade Runner was shot on the old Maltese Falcon set on the Warner Brothers back lot. The set looked so bad  that Scott only shot at night with lots of fake rain and smoke. Constant rain and night shoots made everyone on edge and it shows in the film which has a genuine misanthropic, dystopian feel. A sanitised, blue screen Blade Runner would likely be as uninspired and lifeless as the Star Wars prequels.
5) The end of the story is already flawless. Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut ends with the great emotional high of Roy’s speech on the roof of the Bradbury Building followed by Deckard and Rachael fleeing for their lives from his apartment. The last shot in the film is the elevator doors closing on Harrison Ford and Sean Young as they run towards an uncertain future. To me this is as self contained, ambiguous and brilliant as the ending of The Graduate and any additional information would only spoil this pitch perfect note. Occasionally Hollywood should ignore the accountants and let art win a round or two in the eternal fight between art and commerce.