I recently went to Blade Runner 2049 and noticed a MASSIVE difference between this and the 1982 version of Blade Runner. And it’s something the original Blade Runner got seriously wrong about the future.
In the 1982 version, there are a number of heavily smoky scenes with characters smoking cigarettes. Not just smoking, but smoking indoors.
OK, OK, I get it. Blade Runner was never meant to be an accurate portrayal of 2019, but I found it ironic. There is virtually nowhere you can actually smoke indoors in 2017. Perhaps in bars in the Deep South, but that’s about it. You certainly couldn’t smoke indoors in Los Angeles, where the film takes place.
Blade Runner was a film noir, a callback to gritty 1940s detective movies with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, even most of the hairstyles are out of the 1940s. I remember seeing the movie as a teenager and damn near feeling my eyes tear up from all the cigarette smoke on the screen.
In fact, the original poster for Blade Runner had Sean Young holding a smouldering cigarette, looking cool and suave like Lauren Bacall from 1947..
Here’s the actual cool part. In Blade Runner 2049 … absolutely … positively … NO SMOKING whatsoever. Not a puff. Not once during its grueling 2-hour, 45
It’s not a statement on the future, it’s a statement on Hollywood and how things have changed dramatically in 35 years. Blade Runner 2049 could’ve had all the smoking it wanted, it was already an R-rated movie, but it’s a statement to me that smoking is no long seen as “noir” or “cool” that the filmmakers felt no need to include it, even though the original Blade Runner was one of the smokiest movies you’ll ever see.
1982 was during the dark dirty days of cigarettes and Hollywood. To my knowledge there were no payments from Big Tobacco to the producers of Blade Runner, but it was just two years after Big Tobacco paid $250,000 to have Lois Lane smoke in Superman II … a kid’s movie. Which kind of started the outrage about Hollywood’s weird and mostly one-sided love affair with cigarettes.
Anyway, something cool and interesting I noticed about Blade Runner vs. Blade Runner 2049.