Hey, so, we got a trailer for Blade Runner 2049. That’s neat!
It’s got everything you’d want from a Blade Runner sequel. It’s got dust. It’s got smog. There’s some talk about replicants. A little neon. Ryan Gosling—you know, all the things you remember from the original.
Oh, and some old guy is in it too. He’s probably not all that important.
Let’s take a minute, though, and appreciate the fact that nobody involved with this movie has tried to de-age Harrison Ford. Sure, he’s looking a little shaky, but that’s probably the point.
We’ve got another Crystal Skull situation where Ford plays the old gun, passing on his wisdom to the new generation. The difference here is that nobody wants to punch Ryan Gosling repeatedly in the face—or, at least, not as many people as those who are annoyed by Shia LaBeouf.
But considering that Ford proved himself capable of being a compelling action hero in The Force Awakens, despite his age, and considering that this year Industrial Light and Magic manages to de-age Peter Cushing by about forty years, despite the fact that he’s been dead for many of them, it’s wonderful to know that we won’t be getting a mysteriously shimmery, shiny, youthful Rick Deckard in this new film.
Movie special effects teams have been known to commit themselves to creating realistic youthful actor portrayals that are way beyond their actual capabilities, and it never ends well.
Bwah! CGI Jeff Bridges?! How did you get in here?!
Anyway, while we didn’t get to see much of Blade Runner 2049, it does look as if Harrison Ford has finally been given permission to act his age, for once.
This time, he’s not going to be running around, desperately trying to exude youth and charisma, despite the fact that he’s now a very old man who probably should have retired a while ago.
Here’s hoping that they keep Ford (perhaps literally) out of the line of fire in this movie. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that he’s a tough action star, rather than a frail pensioner who’s confused about where his nurse went.
JJ Abrams managed to squeeze a few last drops of charisma from out of Ford in The Force Awakens, but he had to break his foot in order to do so. In filming Blade Runner 2049, Ford “accidentally” punched Ryan Gosling (why he didn’t do this to Shia LaBeouf instead is anyone’s guess), and by all accounts, even that much exertion made him reach for a bottle of booze and a big bag of ice.
Let’s just hope that Hollywood doesn’t get trapped in this situation again, by giving one charismatic actor all of the flashy glamorous gigs so that, when movie executives want to create sequels in decades to come, they have to get an increasingly frail old man back in to reprise roles that he’s far too decrepit to manage.
But hey, what are the chances of that happening again?
Photo Credit: Splash