When Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, it was a commercial disappointment. Over the next three decades, however, not only has the film gained a cult following, it managed to influence other films such as Ghost in the Shell. Its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, has been one of the most anticipated films of 2017. Will it live up to the hype?
Taking place thirty years after the events of the original film, “K” (Ryan Gosling) is a replicant who hunts other replicants as a blade runner. However, he gets recurring memories of himself as a child despite the being the new model of replicant. The film follows his efforts to find the child in question.
Over the past few years, Denis Villeneuve has been building up an impressive resume that all culminated with the Oscar-nominated Arrival. In my opinion, Blade Runner 2049 might be the best film he has done to date. He manages to capture the proto-cyberpunk feel of the original film and give it a modern-day update.
Another great aspect of the film is its cinematography and its production design. The cinematography of this film is both breath-taking and atmospheric thanks to Roger Deakins. If this man does not win the Oscar for Best Cinematography, it would be the crime of the century. The production design manages to pay homage to the iconic visuals of the original while adding its own flair. My only critique of this film is the scenery porn that does not add anything to the movie. They may look great for the trailer, but it adds nothing to the film.
This film has a spectacular cast. Ryan Gosling does a fine job playing “K”. However, a special mention must go to Harrison Ford. His reprisal of the character Deckard is his best role in recent memory. It’s amazing how can be a great actor when he’s not phoning it in. The rest of the supporting cast does a fine job in the film, (including Bautista of all people). Even Jared Leto, who may be the weak link of the cast, managed to do a solid job in this film.
This may or may not be a controversial opinion, but I will say it anyway: Blade Runner 2049 joins various movies such as The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, and Aliens as one of the best sequels of all time. In a time where unoriginal studio executives are cashing in on nostalgic audience members, this film manages to do something where the other remakes/reboots/unnecessary sequels fail to do: it manages to continue the story of the original film. Villeneuve truly understands the intent of the original film. The original Blade Runner presented some existential questions about our humanity. 2049 expands on those questions by exploring them further. However, the film does not give a simple “yes or no” answer to those questions but rather leaves them open-ended as it should.
Overall, Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy sequel to the original film.