Blade Runner 2049
It has been a while since I’ve seen it, but the original Blade Runner is a fantastic sci-fi film and up there with some of the best of all time. Ridley Scott used to be such a cutting edge filmmaker and the themes and visuals of the original Blade Runner still resonates well all these years later. When I heard about Blade Runner 2049, I was mixed- but only for a little bit. I love Ryan Gosling and Ana De Armas is stunning. The trailer looked like a visual feast and the attachment of Dennis Villeneuve heightened the hype surrounding the picture. Having seen it on opening night, there are many positives albeit some problems and concerns I had.
The film takes place decades after the first film where K (played by THE GOS) is a newer modeled replicant who is also a blade runner tasked with taking out older models. He stumbles across a mystery of a replicant giving birth, which was previously thought to be impossible. He is tasked with finding that child but must also stave up the forces of Wallace, who is a prominent creator of replicants. K also unearths information about Deckerd who has gone into hiding since the events of Blade Runner.
The first thing I have to praise is the absolutely eye-popping, crisp, and vivid cinematography. The scenes are phenomenal. The sheer gorgeous nature of the picture is worth seeing it in theaters all by itself. This is expected with the legendary Roger Deakins and Villeneuve at the helm. The bright lights and barren landscape of the future are just stunning. The CGI is some of the best you will ever see. The soundtrack is loud and at times jarring but very effective in mood and tone setting.
I actually loved seeing Ryan Gosling’s K in a relationship with the computerized but very intelligent girlfriend, Joi. I love Ana de Armas and love that she’s getting more work after Knock Knock. Sylvia Hoeks, who I really enjoyed in The Best Offer, is also ridiculously compelling as a menacing villaneous henchwoman to Wallace. I had problems with Wallace’s motivations. His dedication to go after the child born from a replicant doesn’t seem strongly motivated. He’s also speaking too prophetically and metaphorically a little too often. The writing has a few holes in it. Its not perfect, but is acceptable and is complemented by stunning cinema display and action.
The film is very long. I think 20 or so minutes could have been condensed to make the film a little more succinct and effective. It was always going to be hard making a sequel to Blade Runner. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. Does the film deliver? Yes, its one of the best visual films I’ve ever seen. Is it great? Almost. It seems like the type of film that could use a re-watch to let the plot and and character displays really sink in. Its still a really admirable effort from Villeneuve, who is one of the top filmmakers going today.