Mark Kermode on the poor box office for the movie.
Saw this again last night and enjoyed parts of it more and parts of it less. It moved much faster this time, but I still felt oddly distanced from the film. I think it’s maybe a little too sprawling, although I love the slowness in Villeneuve’s other movies, especially Arrival.
Thematically I appreciated it more. I really love how it builds up K as this messianic replicant and then he learns he’s just another Joe. That he does what he does at the end is still very powerful.
I don’t know. This is a very good movie but it doesn’t quite coalesce in the way that it should to be a great one. Visually, it’s great. But it lacks concision.
I actually found the Joi subplot the most interesting part of the film, for that very reason. Did she/it have any free will? Or was she simply a very clever program? The bridge scene seems to want us to believe the latter – and at that moment, K seems to realise for the first time that it’s the latter – but even after that point, I’m not convinced.
The subplot is the film’s most direct callback to the original’s theme of what it means to be human, looked at through a new prism.
She was more of a slave than Roy Baty ever was, apparently incapable of rebellion, and dying (or choosing a path likely to lead to her death) rather than abandon her “master”.
Would she have passed a V-K test? Unlike Baty, she appeared to show empathy, to the extent of sacrificing herself to help another being. But was it “real” or programmed? Does it matter?
Was the path she chose (to her inevitable death) a programmed imperative or free-willed choice? Does it matter? “Dying for the right cause is the most human thing you can do.”
I think adding Joi to the mix of the question of what it is to be human introduces ideas similar to free will versus predestination (programming).
Nrgh, shouldn’t be diving this deep into the philosophy behind the writing, but is it then contrasted against Determinism -
that there’s no such thing as free will, and as such everyone in the story - human, replicant and AI alike are all following a program they can’t comprehend?
“Was Joi’s love real/matter?” is going to be the new “Is Deckard a replicant?”
Ya. I was lumping Determinism with Predestination which is why I said “similar”.
The philosophical space I live in, predominately Protestant Christianity, those two sides are primarily represented by Free Will (Arminianism) and Predestination (Calvinism) with some gray in between. I lean toward the former while realizing that absolute free will is impossible because we cannot choose where or who we are born to nor can we will ourselves to have wings. However, I do have friends that are so far down the other path often described as TULIP or Duel Election Calvinism which believes we are just acting out what has already been set in motion. Where I come from is steeped a bit in both traditions. So you get this weird thing that circles around funerals and other tragedies that are difficult to process and explain where everything is seen as part of “God’s Will” when even a lot of Christian traditions don’t back that philosophy.
I don’t necessarily believe the film was going that deep and don’t mean to ascribe more to it than was really there. However, it was meant to scratch at those questions and opened up things that I already think about.
I liked the flying cars
See my later addition to that post.
I do believe it’s ascribing more than what is there to films like this to believe they really ask the questions some of us believe they do but there is something there that is meant to scratch those questions however superficially.
It’s like all the philosophy classes that went crazy over the Matrix films. Yes, there is some of that there but not nearly to the extent that some imagine it.
Edit: I also thought it was fascinating that a lot of the spinners, including K’s, where Peugeots, a brand that still exists in Europe but not the US.
If you ignore the overwrought philosophy wonks, the Matrix sequels aren’t that bad.
(except for the Burly Brawl, that was self-indulgent rubbish)
Keanu Reeves doing Kung Fu while dressed like a Christian Brother…awesome!
Could be product placement, Peugeot are a very viable brand in Europe and to a degree in Asia. My wife’s last car was a Peugeot 206, it was a good motor.
It’s always a matter of audience and reach unless you are a truly global company. Chrysler are basically non-existent nowadays outside the US (and are majority owned by Fiat I think).
I posted this upthread a week ago but it goes a overview of the philosophical concepts of the movie:
I understand that Peugeot is still alive and well in a lot of other places. They actually make interesting cars and I wish they and Citreon were available in the US. I just thought that the somewhat “dead” brands (as far as the US is concerned anyway) seemed to be a theme or at least a choice as Atari was still emblazoned on several buildings in that world. There was a third one that I was going to mention but I can’t remember it.
Ya. Fiat bought Chrysler for Jeep and the penetration into the US market. The only Chrysler/Dodge products you’re likely to see will be rebadged as Fiats or other brands under their umbrella.
It did feed into the whole notion of an alternate world that has stagnated to a certain extent.
There’s what I was trying to say.
Thank you, Simon.
I’ve been trying to remember that since I left the theater. Thank you, Dave.