Saturday, May 17, 2014

6 Reasons Why A Blade Runner Sequel Would Be A Terrible Idea

nice shooting, but completely inappropriate rain gear, love
The NY Daily News  says today out that the Blade Runner sequel is definitely on and that Harrison Ford has officially been offered the lead role. While I'm slightly encouraged that Ridley Scott is hiring Hampton Fancher to write an original script I still think this project is misconceived. Here are six reasons why I think the Blade Runner sequel should be strangled at birth:
1) Most sequels are horrible. Even the good ones like The Godfather Part 2 aren’t really a patch on the original. This rule 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. As for Star Wars 7? Who knows?
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 or Prometheus.
5) Ridley Scott has become a horrible film director. He hasn't made a decent film in 10 years and his last 5 movies were utter disasters. Remember these: The Counselor, Prometheus, Robin Hood, Body of Lies, A Good Year. I kid you not those are his last five movies. Any one of those films would have killed the career of a lesser director. All in all this trajectory does not look good.
6) 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.