Thanks to Sony Pictures Releasing we had the chance to see Blade Runner 2049 before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
Fans bracing for an unnecessary and unworthy sequel to the iconic sci-fi film Blade Runner need not fear, as Blade Runner 2049 not only manages to be as striking and genre-defining as the three-decades-old original, but also stands as an exquisite and at times jaw-dropping film in its own right.
The long-talked-of sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 film arrives burdened with the weight of expectation, and yet director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) and his team (including screenwriter Hampton Fancher, back from the original film) rise to occasion – drawing on Blade Runner’s tone, themes and universe to deliver a unique story, and craft one of the most stunning films of this generation.
The marketing for the film has been mercifully careful to avoid giving away the plot – and with a storyline heavy on twists and call-backs, it’s advisable to freshen up with a rewatch of the original.
Set 30 years later, and on an earth which seems barely habitable, 2049 follows Ryan Gosling’s ‘K’ – a Blade Runner who unearths an artifact which threatens to change the course of history. This discovery puts ‘K’ on a collision course with Harrison Ford’s ‘Deckard’ – the original Blade Runner, who seems to be enjoying the solitude of retirement.
Gosling’s lead performance harks back to the intensity and sullenness we’ve seen from him in past films like Driver and Only God Forgives. And while Ford’s reprise of his role could perhaps be described as a glorified cameo, he nonetheless gives an emotional and nuanced performance as the grizzled ex-cop who just wants to be left alone. They are ably joined by an supporting cast including Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Ana De Armas and Sylvia Hoeks who all chew up the screen in their respective roles.
But it is the coming together of almost every element of the film – from performances to visuals, to sound design – which brings Blade Runner 2049 so close to perfection. Every shot is thoughtfully framed like a work of art (courtesy of legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins) and the sound design is rich and atmospheric, consistently loud, and constantly unexpected – all coming together in a beautiful symphony of cinema.
It has taken 35 years, but Blade Runner 2049 can deservedly be called one of the best sequels and one of the best and most visionary sci-fi films ever made. And for a film about an unlikely miracle, that seems quite miraculous indeed!
Blade Runner 2049 – In cinemas now