A friend once told me having expectations means you’re always going to get disappointed in one way or another. Especially even if this film stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, and is directed by the famed Denis Villeneuve. My expectations going into this film could not have been higher due to the early positive reviews but at the same time I did hear this line ” This film not only satisfies any expectations you might have, it far surpasses them.” But is it really true? This is where we are going to find out in the Blade Runner 2049 film review below!
(this is a longer than normal post due to the genre of the film with such a long screentime)
K, a new generation of replicant, is sent out on missions to ‘retire’ the old generations that have gone rogue. Along the way, he discovers a supposed impossible miracle which leads him down the path to the unknown past. Will he be able to uncover everything before he himself is targeted by the unknown enemies?
After watching the film, I am inclined to agree. I am not saying there have not been any great movies in the past decade but Hollywood has in recent years I feel been churning out many runs of the mill movies to the point where our expectations towards a movie have effectively been lowered quite a bit. Suffice to say it would have been impossible for my expectations to come anywhere close to being disappointed and this film just personally has a lot of elements that appeal to me. Ok, now to start the review proper.
This film is intense. It is a marvelous visual spectacle. It is a majestic beast of a film and honestly it is an experience that should be seen, heard and felt because words would not do justice to it. It may be the sequel to the original 1982 sci-fi legend Blade Runner and of course, you would be better equipped to enjoy the film if you’ve seen the original but it does something few sequels/reboots do. It stands on its own, proud.
In terms of story, this is a really long film and when I look back on the entirety of it, it feels very much like a story within a much wider, grander narrative. There was so much going on in the background but the story itself follows our protagonist played masterfully by Ryan Gosling, the blade runner known only as Agent K. I would not consider this the most complicated story I have ever experienced but it does complicated right because you do not see certain twists coming and yet the story does not feel convoluted. They hide in plain sight, just like the film’s replicants. Finally, the main reason I was so enraptured by this film is that there is so much to learn and experience in the film and in the film only. So much was kept under wraps and out of the trailer and it is so refreshing to just learn it in the film.
Similar to the original, do not go expecting a sci-fi action film. It has action but it is much more a mystery noir detective type film with philosophical themes. Despite being much longer than the original, I feel like the pacing here is actually better.
I would say the standout performance here is Ryan Gosling as this is very much his story. However, all the characters were so well acted and given so much material, so much depth, they all felt so complex and multi-faceted. The film’s soundtrack is haunting, bleak and at times epic. Just like the story, just like the world. It just fits. The cinematography just has to be seen and is so consistently stunning. The lighting, the practical sets, the clever use of effects, the weather. Everything just comes together to give us this immersive, believable world.
There is only one nitpick I have which is a particular reveal towards the end of the film. I felt like they gave a bit too much to the audience and we would have been even more shocked had they not included certain scenes to pander to the more casual going audience members.