As some negative reviewers said, it is slow. Would he be able to live up to the expectations and make a sequel that could measure itself with the original? I was wrong to doubt Villeneuve; his 'Blade Runner 2049' even succeeds in transcending in some ways the original masterpiece, especially as a visual experience. Add in that Niander Wallace and Luv make for pretty menacing villains and you have a pretty well-rounded and fascinating script. I personally found the overall film to be magnificent, but when certain scenes were dialogue-free and asking you to gasp at the imagery, that's exactly what I was doing, as I feel many audiences members will. But it's so brilliantly put together, the closest master of cinema i think of that has done something similar, is Stanley Kubrick. But the underlying theme is the same as it was in the original. I haven't been on board for all of Villenueve's films but this is a good combination of his artistic style with enough of a commercial element for the masses.
In the end, this movie aims to impress Sci-Fi fans across the world, but I feel as though the people who will be looking back on this as a possible classic or at least one of the best sequels ever made, are those who've had the pleasure of indulging in the greatness that is 1982's Blade Runner. The smaller but important roles are also noteworthy; Robin Wright's Lieutenant Joshi makes a fierce and convincing police chief, while the villain duo Jared Leto's Neander Wallace as the evil head of a corporation at the top of the new world order and his frightening hit-woman Luv Sylvia Hoeks are also very impressive. Nothing wrong with escapist movies, which I also enjoy when I'm in the right mood, but it doesn't change the fact that they're inherently much more predictable, superficial and formulaic. I also want to credit Ana de Armas, she was distinctly warm and she showed a lot more emotion than I had seen from her previously. I don't hesitate to praise when a movie looks good but this is an exemplary example of using visuals and atmosphere to help build on a strong story.
All the other actors also do an outstanding job in this film, no bad performances, but i can't talk about all of them due to the word limit in these reviews. I don't say this about films very often, especially when talking about sequels, but I haven't been this immersed in a theatrical experience in quite some time. With the addition of Harrison Ford giving one of his most sincere and memorable performances, as well as Ana de Armas in a role that really took me by surprise, this film was casted to the nines from beginning to end. I was especially happy that Ryan Gosling's agent K was indeed the leading man and he did a very good job. That said, Villeneuve will receive most of the credit, as he should. Officer K isn't the most lively protagonist but he gets an eye-opening character arc that kept me involved.
The biggest star of this movie is the cinematography and the excellent work of Roger Deakins. And herein lies its beauty: shallow popcorn movies will have faded from everybody's memory in weeks. Some may complain about Jared Leto and Dave Bautista not being included as much, but I felt as though the served the story quite nicely. He is so far gone in his mind by 2049 he actually believes he is god himself, and he calls his replicants angels. For film fanatics like myself, Blade Runner 2049 is a great film for people to see, regardless if they've witnessed the original or not. The story continues from the original, but stands completely on it's own, it tells a new story that directly interlink with the original, but without trying to be a copy, it's a natural continuation in the same universe.
Which senses are you going to believe? I can't spoil anything, but look closely at Luv's character arc. It sort of collides with your senses, your eyes say it's beautiful, your mind say it's depressing. People are desperate and lost, law enforcement can barely keep anything together, and only a small spark can set of total disaster, which is looming just around every corner. If you know what type of film you're in for, or you've at least seen the original and enjoyed it, I can't recommend this movie enough. As for me, I will most likely try and make some free time in my schedule for the coming days, 'cause I want to go the cinema again, guess what I'm gonna watch. Nevertheless, Ford gives one of his best performances in years and after all the iconic roles he played once again in recent years Han Solo, Indiana Jones this is by far the best. I've only seen the original Blade Runner once and it was a long time ago.
And as we are used to with the German composer, this was once again sublime and a great homage to the original. Let me start by saying that I am a huge Denis Villeneuve fan and absolutely love every movie he made, from his breakthrough drama 'Incendies' to the action thriller 'Sicario'. So he got replaced by probably the best man in the business nowadays; Hans Zimmer. At least don't confuse feeling depressed as a sign that this movie is bad, it's nothing wrong feeling depressed, take it in, embrace it. Blade Runner 2049 is none of these things. Zimmer's 2049 score can be compared to his Dunkirk score, in a way that it unsettles us from the first chord and just as the Second World War movie, it keeps us on the edges of ours seats, especially during the last hour.
Dave Bautista showed he has a lot more range than people give him credit for. Villenueve is an authority in this area and while I appreciate an artistic approach to this science fiction tale, for me they overdid it a little. While they do heighten the mood at times, or fit the atmosphere, they are not really not up to the lofty standards of the photography, the action, or the direction. There are certain scenes where the movie wants you to really drink in the environment but they could have edited it a little tighter. It's a dark, mysterious, grim, hopeless, sad and lonely film, set in a possible near future where the human race is hanging by their fingertips on the edge of doom. On the other hand, if you've never seen the original Blade Runner and are just a casual moviegoer that have thought of the promotion for this film as being an action-packed thrill ride, then I'd have to warn to stay far away from this near three hour motion picture.
So, where do we start. From the addition of the seamlessly blended visual effects, to the mind- blowing scenery constructed by the entire art department, I have nothing but praise for this film. Every shot is brilliant, I loved every single frame and I cannot imagine that he wouldn't get nominated and win an Oscar for this phenomenal work. With a terrifically restrained performance by Ryan Gosling, you'll find yourself sucked into this world as a fly on the wall, as he uncovers these mysteries. All its moments have already been lost in my memory, while the original Blade Runner remains vivid in my mind, as if I only saw it yesterday. This is definitely a superior film than the original, it's one of the best films of 2017, and I'll be revisiting it very soon.
They also couldn't help but lose me at points through how much artistic flair the utilize. I think if you're a big fan of the original, you'll love this to bits. Last but not least, Ana de Armas is also very good as Joi, K's girlfriend even if she does remind me a lot of Scarlet Johansson in 'Her' and slightly of Alicia Vikander in 'Ex Machina', but maybe that's something Villeneuve did that on purpose and wanted to pay homage to these recent but also very good science-fiction movies. I am not going to say more about it, because the studio has been unusually insistent in its pleas to critics and the first movie viewers not to reveal any plot points, but I am glad they did. Surprisingly, I really liked Sylvia Hoeks.
The film isn't perfect, but it's close, and it shows the tremendous skills of Denis Villeneuve. They also create some compelling subplots which is something that few movies get right. It does justice to any loose ends that fans may have wanted in the past, as well as create a new story to gawk at in the process. He works with Gosling well and they have a solid rapport. Before dropping you into this world with Ryan Gosling's character, there is text at the beginning that will fill you in on the history of the events in the past, but even though that information is given to you, your experience just won't be the same without having viewed the first film multiple times and remembering the emotional core of it. Or is that entirely true? This is a movie best experienced on the biggest screen in your cinema; trust me, it will be worth your while. While not perfect, and inferior to the original, this is still a great movie.