I just watched the original Blade Runner with my family (Final Cut, fwiw, but I’m aware of the main differences between Director’s and Final).

It was interesting to rewatch it with a greater ability to analyse media. I’d forgotten a lot of the plot: I could remember the broad outlines, but I totally forgot that Roy kills Tyrell.

These are just bullet point thoughts because honestly who needs another review of Blade Runner?

I’m curious as to see how they handle Deckard in the new film. I’m rather concerned he’s going to be a straightforwardly redeemed/heroic character? In the original, he’s… like he’s just gruff and businesslike, doesn’t say a lot except to Rachel, there’s no sense he hates replicants or revels in his power over them or use slurs like ‘skinjob’, but he’s willing (with a little pressure from the police chief) to hunt down (with some guile) and shoot on the street all the Replicants, even those who’ve found like, precarious but harmless employment such as Zhora. He decides to save Rachel out of some sort of pity, but he also rapes her so like… yeah.

I also watched the three short films created to bridge the gap between the two movies. One of them is an anime film dir. Shinichrio Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, so that’s cool. I enjoyed this! The action was… pretty over the top compared to the original (though Pris’s acrobatics give it some precedent), but displaying all the fight choreography skills of Watanabe. The ‘Tyrell goes out of business and Wallace corp creates replicants now’ plotline seems kind of weird, but it was sweet to see that little robot revolution play out, even if it’s rather a change of pace. CW for imagery of street violence and lynching.

The second one is a short film with Jared Leto, who I hate for the obvious reasons, but fortunately he’s the vile bad guy who has created a Replicant that he can order to kill himself so we’re supposed to hate him? Hopefully he’s not in the new film, since this is a younger version like 20 years before the new film.

The third one, set right before the new film, is cool? They’re definitely taking a bit of a different angle on the ‘humanlike robots as oppression metaphor’ thing - Replicants are now widely known, seemingly Good At Fighting always, and equally widely reviled. While in the first film, Replicants must hide who they are to avoid being hunted down and shot by a Blade Runner, now Replicants must hide from everyone - kind of a closet metaphor except instead of being gay you’re secretly a super robot idk.

I find this a little bit more palatable than ‘wizards as oppressed class’ narrative: the Replicants are never presented as anything other than a kind of human in a horrible situation, created as slave labour and not intrinsically super violent or anything. I simultaneously would like the metaphor to be matched by literal representation of gay or trans people and not like, as ~weird future~ background colour, but conversely don’t trust Hollywood to portray us with any degree of competence.

The critics are all really excited about the new film. I enjoyed the slow and thoughtful pace of Blade Runner, and was a bit concerned about the emphasis in action in the trailer for the new one, but I’m willing to give it a chance.