In a time where the aged action star is experiencing a curious renaissance (Liam Neeson in Taken, Harrison Ford’s various ’80s role revivals, the action-star AARP that is the Expendables series), it’s curious that the Stateside resurgence of Jackie Chan took so long. Breaking every bone in his body over the course of his career with death-defying stunts that practically defined the Hong Kong film industry, Chan is inarguably one of the greatest action stars of all time. When it came time to come back into the Western limelight (despite still having a respectable career in China), however, Chan seemingly chose to change directions in The Foreigner, a workmanlike but ultimately dour thriller that fails to make good use of him, or much of any use at all.
Whether you love it or hate it, Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner set the standard for fog-enshrouded science fiction dystopias, a cryptic cyberpunk potboiler about identity, memory, and reality, with one of the most fully realized cinematic worlds ever imagined. Its bonafides as an arthouse sci-fi juggernaut are well established, meaning that any continuation of its legacy would have to pull out all the stops to live up to its immense cultural importance. To do that, it would have to take, oh, a murderer’s row of cinema’s greatest filmmakers, and the return of the first film’s screenwriter and major star, in addition to a laser focus on maintaining the original’s legacy while expanding upon it in new and interesting ways.
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