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Blade Runner 2049 the Joi-less edit (I removed Joi entirely to trim the run-time) (Released)

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 (Edited)

Hey fellow fan edit appreciators! I had such an enthusiastic response to my last couple Star Wars edits and this time I’m trying something different.

Blade Runner 2049 is an absolutely gorgeous movie and a worthy follow up to the original. But it’s also significantly longer. As a sort of thought experiment, I wanted to make a tighter version. The solution I came up with is to completely remove Joi (which it really does in the figurative and literal sense).

That’s kind of it. It trims over 20 minutes from the film and makes for a more nihilistic sort of movie. The audience has to infer a lot more of K’s motivations and his existence becomes solely about his work and unraveling the mystery. I did rearrange Mackenzie Davis’s replicant prostitute subplot to immediately follow meeting K. Without Joi instigating, it felt more organic that way.

The only cameo appearance of Ms. de Armas is a single generic Joi advertisement (though not the infamous billboard appearance at the end).

Would love to hear what people think - does it ruin the movie by being too dark and confusing or is the tighter runtime beneficial?

Edits:
First Order, Last Jedi - A Star Wars Story (the first Sequel Trilogy 3-to-1)
Star Wars Episodes I-III: A Machete Order Edit
Lord of the Rings: The Less Extended Editions
Blade Runner 2049: The Joi-less Cut
Watchmen (2019): The Bass Reeves Cut
The Watcher in the Woods: Best of Both Worlds

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Sounds like an interesting project!

I haven’t watched your edit, but I think Blade Runner 2049 is perfect as-is. I don’t think it’s too long (and I’m a proponent of 90 minute films). I think K’s relationship with Joi is important. Spoilers:

Joi insists that K is special in regards to finding the matching dates on the tree and the horse. It reinforces his false discovery that he was born, not created. Which strengthens his disappointment when he realizes that he is not the offspring of Rachel.

It’s also interesting to see how Joi is treated by others. Humans don’t like replicants and treat them poorly (i.e. K’s fellow officer calling him a skin-job at the police station). And then replicants treating AIs like Joi poorly (Mackenzie Davis’ character disparaging Joi, Luv destroying Joi).

I think removing Joi also weakens K’s character development. He has more interaction with Joi than any other character. And his interaction with the billboard at the end of the film is part of a catalyst for him running off to find/“kill” Deckard. Joi seemed almost human (calling him Joe instead of a serial number, telling him that she loved him despite K telling her she didn’t have to say those things). Then after her demise he interacts with the billboard that calls him Joe. So did the AI have actual feeling for him? Or was it just her programming? Does K have actual feelings? Or is he just a product like Joi?

Best,

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Hey Nibcrom! No argument - this is one of those rare fan edits where I explicitly think it makes the movie slightly worse. But it definitely creates a much darker, more adrift version of K which I found to be interesting.

I will gladly watch all two hours and 45 minutes and relish every bit of it. But I know there are people out there (and plenty who decided to skip it at the theaters) because they were turned off by the length. If you end up giving it a watch, would love to hear your thoughts!

Edits:
First Order, Last Jedi - A Star Wars Story (the first Sequel Trilogy 3-to-1)
Star Wars Episodes I-III: A Machete Order Edit
Lord of the Rings: The Less Extended Editions
Blade Runner 2049: The Joi-less Cut
Watchmen (2019): The Bass Reeves Cut
The Watcher in the Woods: Best of Both Worlds

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 (Edited)

More nihilism is always welcome imo. I liked Joi, but if cutting her out makes the tonality a bit colder, I’m up for a viewing.
I felt that Luv should have had so much more screen time, however.

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I haven’t seen Blade Runner 2049. I hear it’s an amazing sequel. I do wonder though, should I watch this edit first (despite it making the movie worse), just for the heck of it? And to give a different perspective on this edit? What do you think?
Of course I would view the actual movie sometime after viewing this edit if I were to watch the edit.

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That’s a tough one re: watching this first. I would definitely encourage you to see it as originally edited first. But I’ll send you the link and you can make your own choices! There might be a few moments where things are slightly confusing and you’ll have to infer the main character’s motivations.

Edits:
First Order, Last Jedi - A Star Wars Story (the first Sequel Trilogy 3-to-1)
Star Wars Episodes I-III: A Machete Order Edit
Lord of the Rings: The Less Extended Editions
Blade Runner 2049: The Joi-less Cut
Watchmen (2019): The Bass Reeves Cut
The Watcher in the Woods: Best of Both Worlds