Blade Runner is a classic cult film, and a highlight of so many people’s film history as well as Harrison Ford’s filmography, and as such I saw it for the first time this year. It was good, weird, and all over the place, so after a few viewings, I felt ready for Blade Runner 2049.
I was not ready.
Blade Runner 2049 takes place after the first film as a replicant, officer K, is hunting down rogue replicants. He does his usual job, he finds them, kills them, returns to the police headquarters, and gets tested to make sure he is still him. Then an interesting task comes up, he must hunt down a child which appears to have been born to replicants, to ensure the information doesn’t leak.
Some plot stuff happens there that I won’t spoil, and the film does a good job at replicating the first film by being crazy and all over the place, at least for the first hour. Radom scenes that kind of make sense, make much more sense on a second revisit, and it doesn’t handhold you through the plot much. It does take a sudden turn when Harrison Ford is introduced, however.
Once Agent K finds Rick Deckard, much of the film starts to become a more straightforward, Sci-Fi action film. Now when I say that, I don’t mean it in a pejorative sense, the straightforward aspects of the film are still outstanding, it doesn’t seem to have that same storytelling pace of the film. Though even now as I reflect on it, the change of pace, out of nowhere, is more Blade Runner than anything.
As far as the look of the film goes, wow would be the best choice of words. The first film’s aesthetic has aged well, and I hope this does the same as it is gorgeous and uses a lot of contrasting scenes to make areas seem totally out of this world. From the slums to the neon lit up areas, to the radioactive city, to the archive rooms, it changes significantly throughout the film.
These as well as the attention to detail in CGI and practical effects, make Blade Runner 2049 a treat to look at. These scenes aren’t the only thing that makes the film palatable though. There are outstanding performances all round, from Ryan Gossling in the lead, being as good as he always is, to Robin Wright being awesome, through to the Ana de Armas doing a wonderful job in the first role I have seen her in. Jared Leto does his usual weird thing early on, but as the film developed his changes were outstanding.
9.5/10 – Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent sequel to an old movie. It may not hit every beat the way the classic did, but it was far from harming to the franchise with nearly every beat being as perfect as one could hope for.