Blade Runner 2049 – Why A Thrilling Story Can Never Substitute Interesting Characters

Yesterday night, my friends asked if I want to go and see the new Blade Runner. Now I don’t enjoy going to the cinema much, since it makes me uncomfortable to be locked in a room with seemingly low oxygen and no windows for 2 hours. But this time, I took the ‘you should say yes more’ advice (from inspiring Pinterest posts with watercolor backgrounds) to heart and just said yes. That and Harrison Ford is in the movie and he makes it ten times more likely for me to enjoy whatever I’m watching.

I didn’t enjoy the movie though. I enjoyed seeing Harrison Ford.

When we went home after, my boyfriend and I talked about the movie. We had contrary feelings about it as he really enjoyed the “ethical question that’s posed in the movie” and “the christ symbolism around K” but still the fascination about the story eluded me. I can appreciate a couple good visuals but it still seemed empty to me.

First I thought it was because I am sick of the ‘Dystopian Mega City’ stereotype and it is still partly true. But that was actually just a minor annoyance to me. What really made me LITERALLY FALL ASLEEP during the third act was that no character has any sort of development, everything is laid out to you in easy to chew bits by the end of the first act. K goes on somewhat of a journey but it’s foreseeable and not especially noteworthy. I mean nothing more than apparent Christ imagery was going on there. And if your character writing has to mimic Jesus Christ then there’s a clear need for more depth there.

Everything got me to ask myself:

What is a story worth when it doesn’t change it’s protagonists?


I love a good story, I really do. I love when there is an adventure that challenges the people living in it and brings them forward, changes them for the better or the worse. But that’s just now what needs to happen, isn’t it? It has to have impact. A good story has impact on the ones experiencing it. Technically even the most mundane things change me as a person so if someone goes on a months long adventure through obstacles and drawbacks, plot twists and reliefs, sure that person would no longer be the same, even if the change would only be subtle, heck, maybe only visual even.

Blade Runner had very little of that.

Harrison Fords Character did not change one bit through his whole screen time, although he is forgiven not only because he is Harrison Ford but also because he was the main protagonist of the original movie and there he did have an ark. But now he just acted as a nostalgia moment which, frankly, adds nothing more than one or two ‘awww’s’ or maybe a ‘He does still look pretty good for being 75 years old’, The villains and general expendables felt like they were there to artificially push the characters motivation instead of giving them, you know, actual motivation.

A story can be super intense but what is left of it, when it doesn’t even impact its characters? If even they are unimpressed, why should we be anything else.

But I guess, it’s just because most of the characters are biological engineered humans who are programmed to be how they are. Could it be, that the absence of character development is actually intentional and made to show their more robotic nature? Is this really making me ask myself the much praised ‘Ethical Question’ from the movie?

Or is it because the story is old and actually starts only a couple of years from now, assuming we would have invented biological engineered humans by then?

I don’t know, besides from the lack of character development I also strongly disliked how damn loud the film was and how some scenes really took forever to unfold, even if you already knew what would be happening on screen.

Did you see the movie and did you like it?