Blade Runner 2049 - Movie Review
35 years worth the wait to the sequel to one of the most classic of cult films? Should they have just left good enough alone? Let's find out and break down BLADE RUNNER 2049.
Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Denis Villeneuve and is the long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 science -fiction classic in Blade Runner.
Taking place 30 years removed from the original's 2019 setting, Ryan Gosling's Officer K is a new "Blade Runner" detective in the year 2049 with a case that could result in the end of all humanity. Looking for answers, the case leads Officer K to Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard, a former Blade Runner of old.
It's safe to say Blade Runner’s existence has greatly influenced the sci-fi genre in cinema. From The Matrix to Minority Report, it was Scott’s Blade Runner that set the bar and for good reason. Even stripping the groundbreaking visuals from the Blade Runner world, it’s still a great detective story with strong, running themes of what it truly means to be human. And that’s just scratching the surface.
That said, how does a sequel break that bar? It does what any sequel should do: expand on its established world. Not only does Blade Runner 2049 do that tenfold, but it surpasses its predecessor to heights no one could have predicted 35 years later after its original release. This film is an experience.
Ryan Gosling is fantastic as Officer K in this film and it’s his story that carries the narrative. As his character is investing this mystery, he’s also dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions. When this complex character receives new information on the case, it’s rather compelling to watch and see how Gosling takes it all in.
Harrison Ford gives one of his best performances in years as well, he definitely came in swinging to reprise this role. Ford’s character is traumatized by 30 years worth of events and we as an audience learn why, it becomes a very poignant performance by the end.
Roger Deakins’ cinematography is to be applauded in this movie. Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best looking films I have ever seen. Every shot of this futuristic world is visually impressive and mesmerizing. Looking back on 2019’s LA and now looking at 2049’s LA, it appears to have evolved and progressed in the most realist of ways. The world of 2049 is straight candy for the eyes and honors its predecessor’s visual appeal in a naturally beautiful style.
As I alluded to, if you were to strip down Blade Runner of its sci-fi genre entirely, it would be a great detective story and that still rings true for 2049. Officer K’s case is completely engrossing and it’s thanks in part to the film’s pacing, which I actually think is an improvement over the first film. When “K” finds a clue or some kind of new information, we as an audience are trying to put the puzzle together along with Gosling and it’s highly engaging.
The highest praise I can give Blade Runner 2049 is that it is a sequel to a movie that doesn’t act like a sequel. 2049 is based in the same world as its predecessor, but it is entirely its own beast. Upon thinking it over, there’s not one wasted moment in this film. Every frame was necessary to tell their story and it was awesome. Boasted by great performances from its lead actors while surrounded by a rich world that is dripping in creativity, wonder, and realism, Blade Runner 2049 hits it out of the park and makes the wait for a sequel worth it.
I’m going to give Blade Runner 2049 an “A+” on the movie grading scale. My nitpicks are just that, nitpicks. In the end, their minor and don’t hinder the film and its story in any way. Hats off to Denis Villeneuve. Watch out for this one everyone’s Top 10 this year.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.