Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by: Dennis Villeneuve
Written by: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Dave Bautista, Robin Wright, Mark Arnold, Harrison Ford, Wood Harris, Jared Leto
Review by: [email protected]
For anybody who knows me (or has seen my berating of Jon on YouTube) knows that I am a huge Blade Runner fan. It’s easily in my top 10 movies of all time. So I was both excited and scared when I began to watch the movie.
Let’s cut to the chase, I really, really liked the movie. Did I love it? Not yet (more on that later) but it is a worthy sequel to the original. Visually it was gorgeous and it immersed you into the world of Blade Runner, just like the original. Music was amazing. Unfortunately, the theater that I saw it in had the volume cranked up to an “11” (Hey movie theaters, louder doesn’t always mean better!) so it was sometimes distracting when I had to take care of my punctured eardrums. But they mixed new original music with just enough of the old to tie everything together. The music was as much a part of the scenery as the camera shot.
I loved the storyline. No spoilers here I promise, but the basic premise is that it’s 30 years later and they have created new replicants that are obedient and don’t have the same level of free will that the originals had. But they still have some of the old Nexus 8 versions (that don’t have limited lifespans) running around out there that need “retiring”. So Blade Runners, special police whose sole job is to hunt down and kill the replicants, are still needed.
Ryan Gosling plays “K”, a Blade Runner who discovers something during one of his assignments that could change everything. It leads him to dig deeper into the mystery and eventually to Deckard (Harrison Ford). For me, a truly great sequel does not have gratuitous cameos of past actors but instead brings them in through the story. This movie does that with one exception (I would love to hear what everyone thinks about that) that I will easily forgive because it was so cool I didn’t care.
So to get back to my “I don’t love the movie… yet” comment from earlier. The pacing of the movie was slow. I could almost hear the director saying “Ok, bring the camera in on his face…. more…. more…. more… hold it there….. hold it… hold it…. hold it…. hold it…..” meanwhile the dialog ended ten minutes ago. Maybe they were so proud of some of the scenes that they wanted to squeeze as much out of them as they can. I can see why. The scenes and framing of shots was nothing but amazing to me. I see Oscar nominations for several categories for this film.
So after seeing the movie last night, I’m still thinking about it. Any movie that sticks with me like this means that it hit me on several levels. Trust me, I haven’t thought about the Kingsmen sequel (which was entertaining) for more than a few minutes after I walked out the theater. I want to see this movie again. There was too much to absorb in a single viewing. I would also highly recommend seeing this in a movie theater. I don’t think a TV will have the same impact. I think that I will eventually love this movie but it’s going to take some time.
I hope that other movie producers see this and realize that making a great sequel is more than just putting a “2” after the title. It has to move the story forward and bring you to someplace new. Which this movie did for me.
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