Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 cult sci-fi favourite, may still be a couple of months off hitting cinemas but is already shaping up to be an bloated, boring mess.
That warning follows a busy few days for the team behind the highly anticipated follow-up, which is starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto.
Not only has the film’s official running time been revealed but the first major glimpse of what fans can expect has arrived in the form of a short film designed to bridge the gap between the Ridley Scott original and Denis Villeneuve’s update.
And neither has provided much in the way of encouragement for anyone hoping Blade Runner 2049 will live up to the original – something that was always likely to be an uphill task.
For starters, Variety is reporting that the film will boast a lengthy run time of two hours and 32 minutes, with the credits set to run for a further 11 minutes.
That’s some 46 minutes longer than the original and, if the initial footage for the film is anything to go by, those two-and-a-half hours are unlikely to fly by particularly quickly.
A short prequel film debuted exclusively by Collider, and focusing on Leto’s character Niander Wallace and his introduction of the new “perfected” Nexus 9 Replicants has offered up a taste of what to expect – namely dull, lifeless, scenes full of sci-fi future tech babble rather than anything emotive, eye-catching or even exciting.
Though the short is directed by Luke Scott, rather than Villeneuve, it could leave fans feeling a little uneasy. The use of these types of prequel shorts has proven problematic in the past, often offering little to the finished product and often the precursor to some almighty messes.
The shorts released prior to Alien Covenant, for example, does little to enhance the film itself, instead simply adding another layer of narrative on top of an already convoluted plot.
And who could forget the Animatrix – the animated straight-to-DVD prequel released ahead of the Matrix sequels – which did little to enhance the films that followed.
All these prequels did was further complicate already complicated narratives and if the content of the Blade Runner film is anything to go by, Blade Runner 2049 could prove to be a bloated, leaden and overly-complicated, pretentious mess.
And one that has a two-and-a-half hour running time. Still, you never know. Blade Runner 2049 is out on October 6.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.