Blade Runner 2049
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Blade Runner 2049 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Combo Pack) (BD)
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a longburied 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.]]>
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Blade Runner 2049 is an incredible sequel, drawing on the original’s strengths and giving it what it always lacked. A powerful story.
The protagonist is Officer KD6-3·7 or “K” (Ryan gosling), a replicant Blade Runner whose job it is to hunt down and “retire” renegade replicants. He’s part of a new model series with unlimited life spans (something the Nexus 6 models of the original movie wanted), but far less free will. K even mentions that he’s never retired one of his own kind, because they do not run. While doing a routine retiring, he stumbles across something buried. It turns out to be the remains of a replicant. One who had given birth. The revelation is thought to be catastrophic to the world’s current order and K’s superior (Robin Wright) tells him to eliminate all traces of this, including the child. And so begins the mystery.
The story is engrossing and has a few surprising twists and turns. It also seamlessly weaves into the narrative the themes of humanity and what it means to be human, arguably more successfully than the original.
Ryan Gosling has a real talent for playing understated characters who express more with their eyes than words, and his performance as an android carries the movie, whether it’s his interactions with the world at large, or his strange romance with his beautiful virtual girlfriend Joi (Ana de Armas). She adds a lot to their scenes as their relationship plays out.
The rest of the cast is notable, with Jared Leto as the blind head of the Wallace Corporation, his psychotic assistant Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), and even Harrison Ford gives a surprisingly emotional performance, reprising his role as Deckard, the original Blade Runner.
As with the previous film, the visuals are a dominating force. With the booming yet dreamlike score by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, it manages to reproduce that wondrous atmosphere of this strange, ugly, beautiful future. Director Denis Villeneuve (fresh from Arrival) was an inspired choice to pick up the reins and tell more stories in this setting. With Roger Deacons’ cinematography, there’s a grandness to the scale, the massive buildings, the varied and spacious locals. We see more of LA in this movie, and even go as far as to explore the wastes beyond. San Diego, for instance, is now a city of garbage, having essentially been transformed into LA’s landfill. Here people scrounge around like post-apocalyptic bandits and have orphanages/work factories. While the original movie was drowning in rain, here we have fallout. Clouds of dust and radiation blur the backdrops and make everything a world of ghosts. It’s eerie and deathly, but statues form weird shapes in the mist.
Villeneuve takes his time telling this story, and it moves slow. This is why the story and characters add so much to the experience. The mystery is genuinely intriguing, building from themes and ideas the original posed 30 years ago. There are bits of fan service here and there (like Atari and Pan Am still being around), but all of it is just part of the backdrop. You can watch this movie without having seen the original and still be affected by it. It didn’t try to top what the original did, still impressively with miniatures and sets, but recreate and move on. We see more than just the downtown streets of LA, here we explore in a way that wasn’t possible then.
Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most successful sequels in years, especially for dusting off a movie from so long ago. It joins the ranks of Mad Max: Fury Road with revived titles that not only stand apart, but match their originals.
One can't really say much about this film without spoiling things. I like that like the original, this is a noir detective story. I like that it shares similar themes as the original, and explores some new concepts that deepen the world that Philip K. Dick invented on paper. This film is long, clocking in at 2 hours and 44 minutes, but it doesn't feel long. The pace of the film is consistent and editing is tight. I think Roger Deakins did a fantastic job as cinematographer and expanded on some things that the cinematographer from Blade Runner (Jordan Cronenweth) did with lighting and moving light sources. A trio of composers work together to make their own mark but also keep in tone and style with the original. Which ultimately sums up the entire film that Denis Villeneuve crafted from Ridley Scott's script. Denis took what was great about the original film, and created his own story. The Blade Runner sequel could have been about anything, and Villeneuve crafted something that's both old and new, and yet rather modern. The film isn't action packed but when there is action, it's very entertaining and violent, like the original. I like that not everything is tied up and resolved.
Sequels tend to not be great, they're often a studio grasping at creating a bankable franchise. A sequel 30 years later is generally a really desperate attempt at recapturing some market and a bad idea. Making a sequel to something like Blade Runner, which is now considered a science fiction cinema masterpiece, is a big gamble. And I think it paid off for Villeneuve. He made something that pays homage to the original without force feeding us memberberries and in your face references and offers something new and unique and something of his own. Blade Runner 2049 looks and sounds and feels like the original but also feels new and different, which is exactly what I look for in sequels. Key events at the denouement of the film make you revisit previous scenes and view them from a new perspective. I've found myself thinking of certain scenes constantly since seeing it, much like the first time I saw Blade Runner. Whether you prefer the original theatrical release of Blade Runner, or the workprint or director's or final cut, whether you thought Deckard was a replicant or not, I think you'll be pleased with this film. I saw this in IMAX and 2D, as it was shot. Though I have read that the 3D presentation is good, it was shot in standard 2D. The release date itself is even significant with in the film. The sound design is amazing, that room was just quaking for 2 and a half hours. Blade Runner 2049 exceeded my expectations and I think it's an amazing complementary sequel to the original and I've no real complaints about the film in any regard. Performances are strong, it's shot and edited well, the story is fresh and it makes you think. Blade Runner 2049 comes FULLY APPROVED.
Im blown away by the cinematography and visuals in this absolute masterpiece.