Blade Runner 2049

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In the highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling) discovers a secret that leads him to former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who disappeared 30 years earlier.

Blade Runner is a film that’s influenced many sci-fi films and blockbusters to come, and is definitely a very visually beautiful film, although not one of my favorites. I was very excited for this film because Denis Villeneuve has never disappointed with his previous films, including Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, and especially Arrival, and I could even call him one of the greatest directors of our time. Although the trailer may mislead you to think that this one’s more of an action movie than before, it’s actually as slow-paced and short on action as the previous film, so don’t be fooled. Thankfully, there’s a very intriguing story, impeccable directing, cinematography and visuals, and great acting. Ryan Gosling plays a leading role who acts more than he speaks, and knowing anything about his character beforehand would spoil the story. His movements, expressions, and interactions with every character make this one of his best performances in recent memory. Although it takes a while for Harrison Ford to make his grand entrance into the movie, it’s gladly pleasing to see him kick ass on screen once again, and it’s great to see that he’s still as good as Deckard as he was back in the ’80s. The rest of the cast, most notably Ana de Armas (who you may remember in a big role from last year’s War Dogs, and here she’s in a brilliant and very impressive role), is terrific as well, also including Robin Wright and Dave Bautista in great supporting roles. However, one performance really bothered me, which was that of Jared Leto. I think he’s a great actor but his acting here was too eccentric and over-the-top, and it felt very annoying, so I’m glad that his character had minimal screen-time in the movie.

I’m surprised that a movie like this was released in 2017, and it’s as big of a deal as it was when Blade Runner came out in 1982, because nowadays every film with so much CGI and hugely billed actors has constant action scenes and familiar cliches, so it’s refreshing to see that this one, like its predecessor, is rather a mystery drama than an action film. Ridley Scott did not have to worry when the sequel to his film is in the hands of Villeneuve, because if you’re familiar with his filmography, you know that nothing can go wrong when he’s in the director’s chair. Every shot is one that can be framed and Roger Deakins, who has already been nominated for 13 Oscars in his career, delivers possibly his best work here. The CGI is Oscar-worthy as well, and it blends in perfectly with the realistic effects in the movie. The music takes plenty of inspiration from the last film, and is done very beautifully thanks to the master Hans Zimmer, and his score for this movie is probably his best since Interstellar. All the technical elements blend in to make every scene intense and unpredictable. The story is more complex than the original and the movie feels like a puzzle as the runtime goes by. The movie is very long, running at almost three hours, but it grips onto your attention in every scene from the very first shot until the last. Some plot points are introduced and then later things are said or implied to contradict what you learned earlier, and then later it’s unanswered what is true or how exactly it worked, but I bet some of these plot points were left open-ended purposely. If you liked the first Blade Runner, you’ll definitely have a great time with this spellbinding, daring, extraordinary sci-fi movie, but if you didn’t, then you might not enjoy this one, as it’s longer and more complicated, but in my opinion, even better than the original. There is not a lot of action, so if you want an action-packed movie I’d recommend you see Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but this is the rare sci-fi feature we get every year that aspires for more, and leaves you thinking a lot, like InterstellarEx Machina, and Villeneuve’s own Arrival. He has made another magnificent feature that’s definitely one of the best of the year. There is occasional violence, language, and nudity, so I don’t recommend it for audiences under 15, but older and more patient viewers should definitely see this fulfilling sequel on the big screen.

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