A rare sequel that both deepens and expands the universe of Blade Runner. Denis Villeneuve’s (Arrival and Sicario) masterpiece is probably one of the greatest cinematic experiences I’ve had in a long time. Blade Runner 2049 is a knockout sequel, well worth the 35 year wait.
2049 is a film that needs to be seen by the masses and by any other sci-fi fanatics out there. For Blade Runner junkies who grew up re-watching the original classic on TV, like myself, this was one of the most satisfying sequels I had the privilege of seeing on the big screen. Yes, Blade Runner 2049 is that good. It boasts a visual feast and lives up to the original title’s sci-fi virtues. 2049 is a landmark achievement in a modern world, currently full of bloated sequels and reboots. I took in every minute of Villeneuve’s lengthy 2 hours and 43-minute run time and, in the end, I could have stayed longer. Without giving away too many spoilers, in the simplest of terms 2049 comes out full throttle and ready for action.
The 1982 original is based on Philip K. Dick's book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That film focuses on a blade runner who must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. Since its original release there have been seven different versions of director Ridley Scott’s (Alien and Gladiator) masterwork. My favorite being the original 1982 US theatrical release and 2007's The Final Cut. The theatrical release boasted Harrison Ford’s cheeky voiceover and neo-noir pulp, but was hindered by the studio’s cliché “happy ending” scene with Deckard and Rachel. In 2007, Scott's version finally came to life. Blade Runner: The Final Cut is a retro-futuristic, visually stunning landmark for sci-fi. Giving the audience a new experience every time they watch it.
Helmed at its core, this latest version of Blade Runner is the purest form of Scott’s original intent for the film. Now, we travel from 2019 to 2049 Los Angeles. Scriptwriters Michael Green (Logan) and the masterful Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner) infuse us into a world full of visual wonder and destruction. The legendary Cinematographer Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, No Country for Old Men and Skyfall) also makes his mark on this film. From the hazy orange and yellow tones of Las Vegas, to the deep neon blues and purples of Los Angeles; every single frame is awe-inspiring. Deakins, who has been nominated 13 times for an Oscar, deserves his trophy now. He has been well overdue for a long time.
His keen skill and perfection of 2049 sends viewers down a dazzling road of art. 2049 also showcases Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford has the dynamic duo, who are dynamite from start to finish. Villeneuve’s mind-bending experience is one for the ages. So, here’s my short synopsis of 2049: 30 years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (an excellent 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 (a superb Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
This iconic film should send sci-fi fans everywhere cheering from their seats, as they melt away with awe. 2049 show us a deteriorating world full of high class societies, workforce slavery (replicants) and hell bent technology infused with selling sex. Breakout star, Ana de Armas, plays Joi, an artificial intelligence who is produced by the Wallace Corporation. Joi is also K’s holographic girlfriend. Even though we can see through Joi, in the end, she shows us what it really means to be human. 2049 is full of rich cinematic senses as we gaze into K’s eyes we see the true conflict eating him away. While Deckard’s mysterious past has finally caught up with him.
Ford, for his part, is nothing less than a revelation as we see him soar to new heights. Fueled with fresh ideas and a purpose, 2049 is a film that I will hold close to my heart. It’s a masterpiece and deserves 5 stars. Powerful, brutal and deeply satisfying, it’s the must-see movie extravaganza of 2017. So please, go see this tour de force in theaters while you still can. 2049 is an event waiting to be seen and captured purely on the big screen. It will continue to ask the questions of what is the meaning of life? Or what does it truly mean to be human? "All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain..." "Your story isn't over yet. There's still a page left."
Blade Runner 2049 is rated R (Restricted). For violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.