Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
October 4th, 2017

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Price:
Modern Classic

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 4, 2017
Last modified:October 4, 2017

Summary:

I’ve never experienced a sequel this well done in all my years covering film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) does so much in propelling the franchise forward with new ideas without relying heavily on prior knowledge. Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) has made one powerful noir driven masterpiece, that gets everything right from the beginning; adding on to the influential original. 

Price:
Modern Classic

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On October 4, 2017
Last modified:October 4, 2017

Summary:

I’ve never experienced a sequel this well done in all my years covering film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) does so much in propelling the franchise forward with new ideas without relying heavily on prior knowledge. Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) has made one powerful noir driven masterpiece, that gets everything right from the beginning; adding on to the influential original. 

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Dir: Denis Villeneuve, 163 mins, starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto, Lennie James, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Edward James Olmos, Barkhad Abdi, Hiam Abbass

Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the most influential sci-fi classics, which has been in an over a decade-long development circle. But does it bring the android filled world into 2017 correctly? Find out as Jordan Samuel brings the review

Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Story continues below

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick focused on android’s connection with society and identity, I studied the book in college due to strong themes and important changes it brought into the sci-fi realm blending staples which are apparent today. Neo-noir was born as the stories brought mysterious elements into a child-friendly genre, influencing the next decade in sci-fi novels.

Ridley Scott (Alien) assisted in bringing the story into a Hollywood adaptation with Blade Runner (1982), merging complex ideas and visuals which at release confused audiences’ due to an unconventional structure that left critics puzzled. Blade Runner (1982) featured a neon noir style, with the director Ridley Scott bringing classic detective elements into a sci-fi setting.

It gained a cult following, with studies about its impact taking place in many educational institutions. 35 years have passed since the original release of Star Wars (1979) getting both a prequel trilogy and ongoing revival. Modern day audiences aren’t used to slower paced and serious sci-fi projects, as the technological advancements had pushed Hollywood into delivering big set pieces without the smart build up.

The original Blade Runner has these moments by the bucket load, focusing on noir driven progression which put it above the competition stylistically. Limiting reach due to a different tone, I loved the change from the bombastic sci-fi adventures the adult tone is a welcome change

Acclaimed French director Dennis Villeneuve has been given an impossible task in continuing Ridley Scott’s classic project with fresh paint. Sci-fi fans have been waiting for a new story in the world, but does it have the vision? in a world full of countless reboots can these androids work.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) revival Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is a perfect sequel, celebrating the rich world while pushing the series into new territory as new characters join in to hunt androids. Rather than reinterpreting Philip K. Dick's (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) world for modern audiences, he takes leaps and bounds in bringing new elements into an aging franchise.

Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) delivers another spectacular provocative and profound blockbuster, which doesn’t falter in topping the original picture but not forgetting the original thriller.

It retains the stunning visuals and plot twists which made the original so influential in sci-fi genre filmmaking. It relies on new elements which keep the series alive, by not rethreading previous iterations (cough! Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and introducing strong characters.

Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) doesn’t fail in bringing another grand sci-fi treat to our screens, not falling on tired conventions.

Story continues below

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is a strict detective tale, which has all the twists needed to fill the overlong runtime- I loved the slow pace which gives fans a bang for their bucks.

Storytelling is going to be a divisive element of Blade Runner 2049, which takes its time in explaining both characters and world-building elements: bridging gaps from the prior movie. Villeneuve also makes audiences care about the potential implications, with the development of characters being felt in the run-time.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The story revolves around Officer K (Ryan Gosling) a newcomer to the LAPD blade runner team that discovers powerful secrets which could bring the end into human life. Discovering all this it leads him into the former missing agent Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for the last several years.

I enjoyed the movie's tone which is solid throughout the runtime, twists and turns allow Blade Runner 2049 to not escape memory. Summer blockbusters in 2017 have pushed for relentless action without earning it, Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) takes his time in building up to solid fight scenes.

It might sound cliché but explaining Blade Runner 2049 (2017) in one paragraph cannot be done as the twists add to viewing experiences, unlike most sci-fi adventures plot elements are the most important.

Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a solid addition to the Blade Runner mythology, as his rich background being fleshed out via childhood memories that may or not be real. The movie focuses on allegiances towards a machine which K has come to hate.

Again, superstar Ryan Gosling (Arrival) delivers another good performance, working in the darker tone: the interactions between Harrison Ford and he drive along run-time with the untrustworthy relationship brings fresh dynamics to a table.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) returns as the former agent Rick Deckard who’s been missing for years, he delivers a great performance balancing on the cast members.

It’s great to see the character return on the big screen, with Dennis Villeneuve treating him with respect. Years have passed since Deckard gave up the LAPD work, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) fills in the blank time with a good bit of screen-time giving the role more development time.

Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) doesn’t rely solely on Harrison Ford’s (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) celebrity status, with each cast member getting the right number of scenes this balance limits a repetitive pace.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall) allows Blade Runner 2049 to comfortably sit within the most beautiful movies ever shot on film, continuing the ongoing trend in Dennis Villeneuve’s filmography.

Delivering the sweeping vistas and moody streets to a new generation as the IMAX format comes alive with the film, that connects with the immense Han Zimmer (The Dark Knight) soundtrack. He makes sure that 2049 looks amazing on any screen, with the use to color on the next level

I’ve never experienced a sequel this well done in all my years covering film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) does so much in propelling the franchise forward with new ideas without relying heavily on prior knowledge. Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) has made one powerful noir driven masterpiece, that gets everything right from the beginning; adding on to the influential original.

It pays homage to the classic Ridley Scott (Alien) movie, without following the steps of many disappointing remakes instead it brings together another sci-fi mystery for the new generation.

5/5

Blade Runner 2049

  • 5

Modern Classic

I’ve never experienced a sequel this well done in all my years covering film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017) does so much in propelling the franchise forward with new ideas without relying heavily on prior knowledge. Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) has made one powerful noir driven masterpiece, that gets everything right from the beginning; adding on to the influential original. 

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