Director Denis Villeneuve, the director of Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, decided to direct the sequel of one of his favorite science fiction films, Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”. Not only did Villeneuve direct a fantastic film, he also managed to exceed the 1982 masterpiece. While expectations for fans were high, that didn’t seem to be a problem for him.
It’s the year 2049 and Ryan Gosling plays K, a Blade Runner, a “cool guy” term for someone who tracks down replicants and terminates them. The world views replicants as a danger to society, and they all connect back to Tyrell Corporation, the company responsible for creating the replicants. None of this is news for those who have seen the 1982 original, but Villeneuve’s film is both similar to its predecessor and strangely different. This film connects back to the original as K needs to track down Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a Blade Runner who has been missing for thirty years.
What makes Blade Runner 2049 so fantastic is the fact that it acts as its own movie. With all the different expanded universes and franchises, it can be easy to repeat the pattern of creating the same film over and over while slapping a different title on it. That is not the case this time. This film is visually similar to its predecessor and has the same elements and themes as the original. However, Blade Runner 2049 adds more to the story and acts as an original continuation, rather than just repeating the same ideas.
Gosling’s performance is immensely enjoyable, proving that he has incredible range. Gosling can go from playing a jazz musician in love in La La Land, to a ruthless getaway driver in Drive, to a soul-searching Blade Runner detective. With Gosling as the star and Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto as co-stars, the film shined through its performances. Ford’s return as Rick Deckard both brought back our memories of the original and showed us that Ford can still nail any role he’s in.
With Roger Deakins behind the camera, every shot is transformative, making the eerie and captivating fantasy universe the most immersive, since Avatar. The wild, incredible images, themes and sounds, make this film one of the most unique science fiction films of all time. It paints an image of a depressing dystopian future but is still amazingly beautiful. Blade Runner 2049 is the perfect mix of a noir detective story mixed and an eerie science fiction thriller.
Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.