Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049- A Masterpiece

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Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford< Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto

IMDb: 8.7 of 7,100+

Opening thoughts:

I didn’t want to see this new Blade Runner film. Not that the trailers didn’t look great, but because I am suffering from fatigue with remakes, reboots, sequels. (Yet I’m still totally on board for Thor: Ragnorak. I blame Taika Waititi for this.) it took my long-time friend (decades) to come up from Florida to get me to see it. Thank goodness he did because it was quite the treat.

What I Didn’t Like

This is more a technical thing with the movie theater, but the sound in this film was extremely loud. Hearing loss shouldn’t be required to watch a good film

The sound was overall good, but there were times where they’d misuse it.  They’d use a sound at the wrong time for dramatic effect, but it wound up being humorous.  I am glad I wasn’t the only one laughing at some points in the film with its choice and use of sound.

Much like the original, the pacing in this one is really slow. I understand it needs to create atmosphere and tone. However, they really dragged a few things out. It may have been two and a half hours but felt over three. I enjoyed the movie, it emersed me in the movie magic like few before, but there were a few scenes that could have been removed.

What I Did Like

The visuals are incredible. I haven’t seen a film look this good and submerge me in a cinematic world ever like this. Some have come close, but there were moments I felt in the film. It grabs you visually and doesn’t let go. There are scenes worthy of preservation in The Met.

There are no weak points in the acting in this film. Ryan Gosling once again shines, Harrison Ford and Robin Wright both are wonderful. Jared Leto is creepy as ever. He has a limited role, but he makes quite the impact.

I was worried that this film would cheapen the masterwork that is the original Blade Runner film. That it would scar it and leave unidentifiable from its predecessor.  However, this movie feels like a legitimate sequel and have a respect for the original material. Villineuve crafted something dark and marvelous. It is rare that sequel of a masterpiece can even be muttered in the same sentence, this one indeed can.   There is no question, this is the Blade Runner world.

I love the characters; all of them. While I didn’t necessarily connect to any, I still found them interesting.  They were complex, sometimes brutal without the slightest bit of mercy. They had doubts and fears and showcased a variety of emotion. Really dove into aspects of the existential struggle we all face (whether we are aware of it or not).

Conclusion:

Blade Runner 2049 may be the best film I’ve seen this year, but it won’t ever be my favorite due to the pacing.  If you appreciate the style and tone of the original, you’ll likely fall in love with this one.  An expertly crafted film on all fronts. Simply fantastic, I was astounded.

The Ladder:

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

 

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