Like its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 is showing signs that it will only be appreciated by science fiction enthusiasts and fans of the franchise, but I believe it’ll be a movie that we will talk about it in the future. Director Denis Villeneuve does his best to bring us an original film, despite its label as a sequel.
Taking place 30 years after the first film, there has been a planet wide ‘blackout’ in between the first film and this one. The Wallace Corporations led by the malevolent Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) has taken over production of the bio-engineered androids called Replicants. Like the first film, Blade Runners are police officers who track down rogue Replicants and ‘erase’ them.
Replicant Blade Runner Kay (Ryan Gosling ) takes orders from LAPD Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright) who sends him on missions to eliminate them. The police soon find out the impossible has happened. A Replicant has conceived a child. The ramifications of this could have devastating repercussions on society so Kay is sent after them to eliminate this child. This sends him on a search for Deckard (Harrison Ford’s character from the first film). Wallace Corporation sends the powerful Replicant Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) after Kay and his holographic girlfriend Joi (Ana de Armas) so they can have the child first.
I won’t dive anymore into the plot or I’ll spoil it. I will say that this film is one of the best of this year. I enjoyed it a great deal and had a good time watching it. Though Villeneuve directed it with his stylistic theme, you could still feel the Ridley Scott (director of the original) presence on the screen. It is aesthetically pleasing and truly has some of the most beautiful cinematography I’ve ever seen.
The film has four main problems that keep it from being, what the Hollywood elite calls, a “great film.” The first lies in the pacing. It is incredibly slow in parts to the point where I was yawning. It lengthened the film unnecessarily. The scenes were meant to show off the incredible back-drop, but eventually that got old.
The second is the ambiguity of the plot. While it is sometimes entertaining to leave certain things up to the audience, this time it was more frustrating than thought-provoking.
The third lies in the villain played by Jared Leto. Wallace may be a decent villain, but this new trend of making villains philosophers with god-complexes is starting to get old. Wallace has an almost five minute long dialogue just speaking about his philosophy on life and again I said, “Get to the point.” Leto brought nothing to the role other than to pronounce vague dialogue that was meant to sound deep, but was as shallow as you can imagine.
Lastly, there was so much skin. It added nothing to the plot and only while serves to attract teenage boy into the theater to giggle.
Now, I do want to praise Gosling who did a good enough job with his role. He certainly played against type and I thought that was commendable. Harrison Ford had a small, but significant role and he did what he could with it. He is talented actor and even in this he did a good job.
Bottom line, Blade Runner 2049 falls short of the gravitas of the original. Now, it delivered on the visuals, but it ultimately was a sour follow-up to its superior original.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I didn’t know that was an option.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul Language, Excessive nudity
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a movie you’d like me to review. Check out my thoughts on Netflix’s Death Note. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.