Wow. Just wow. That’s pretty much the short version of my Blade Runner 2049 review. I stayed away from any previews as much as I could, I didn’t even watch any of the excellent pre-sequel online content that’s out there…I wanted to go in as fresh as possible and I was not disappointed by the instant cinematic masterpiece that director Dennis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, Arrival) has created. Sumptuous cinematography melds with a deliciously twisty and clever plot that sends our characters on a rickety bone-coaster of emotions and realizations in each of their personal arcs.
So let’s deal with a few of those Blade Runner 2049 questions I know you’ve got burning away there. How’s the Goss? Ryan Gosling is sublime in his role as K, measured and emotive, he gives quiet introspection and the desperate thoughts of what it is to be human as much space as his moments of explosive anger, cool nonchalance or romantic yearning. Top work The Goss! Is Jared Leto annoying? No, and you’re so wrong to think so at any point…shame on you! Leto gives good god complex here and with his sensual, lethal assistant Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) by his side, his threats of violence and control are quiet but ever present. OK, how’s Harrison, has he still got it? Oh he’s still got it, baby! This could indeed by my favourite recent turn for Ford, as he sheds his self-aware public persona and disappears back into the role of Deckard. Is this a reboot? Nope, this is an honest-to-goodness follow on sequel taking place thirty years after the original action in 1982’s Blade Runner so get ready for an exciting continuation of the world you already love, an explanation on where characters are now, with much of it teased out from the ideas in Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
Blade Runner 2049 is one of those straight to cult classic films that exudes all the effort and care that each and every member involved with its creation has fused into their share of the load. From the dirt caked in K’s neck, to the sets that our characters move through or the vehicles they drive, the meals they eat, or the fashion they wear, it’s all so gritty and tangible. The cut I saw, was specially calibrated for the IMAX experience so a lot of the cinematography swooping through dystopian Los Angeles, or the scope of the architecture of the buildings or barren landscapes make it feel like a 4D motion ride. Lighting is used to a staggering effect, simplistically but dreamily so. Burning low and slow through the duration is a rumbling, synthy soundtrack that increases tension. The action is strong, with plenty of it to go around and Blade Runner 2049 is not afraid to splash the blood and bodycount around; while the thriller plot would make Hitchcock a proud chappie, with the change-ups and big reveals.
Ooh it’s just so good! I could go on about Blade Runner 2049 for hours but all the words in the world won’t give you the sublime feeling of seeing a sequel that so perfectly fits and lifts the original. Once you’ve inhabited Villeneuve’s sleet soaked, climate change riddled world, you may never want to leave!
Are you a big Blade Runner fan? Got some hefty expectations or clued in predictions? Hit me up in the comments and tell me what you think…