Cert: 15 Runtime: 164 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Sylvia Hoeks and Jared Leto
Every civilisation was built on the back of a disposable workforce, but I can only make so many.
Blade Runner is a sci-fi must watch! Ridley Scott’s most thought provoking film by a mile. Did we ever need a sequel? It has been in the pipeline for while, it’s been less than 2 years since the official announcement and here we are. Critically it has been applauded, with a strong cast and Denis Villeneuve at the helm surely the critics are right on this? What is Blade Runner 2049 about you ask? Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.
The opening puts you back in this bleak world, very tense and sets the tone for the film.The bleak dystopian future Scott so perfectly created is even more beautiful in Villeneuve’s 2049, for which a lot of credit has to be given to the brilliant director of photography Roger Deakins, who has made one of his best works. Every shot is brilliant, I loved every single frame. But also a big thumbs up has to be given to the entire effects team, for Deakins didn’t do it all on his own. Hans 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. Villeneuve will receive most of the credit, as he should. For unlike most of Hollywood’s blockbusters nowadays, he doesn’t simply delivers us a spectacle with some nice effects or a reboot of the original.
He picks up the threads where Scott left, which was a monumental task, for the original ‘Blade Runner’ is one of the most impressive and iconic movies ever made. The effects are phenomenal, from the fluctuating holographic interfaces, to the flying cars; from the impressive explosions to the dystopian backwaters which surround the spurring metropolis; the effects satisfyingly developing an imperfect future. Although the effects are a necessity in Blade Runner 2049, never does the feature become over-reliant on them, the film’s leads been the driving force of this cinematic achievement. Two issues I have with Blade Runner 2049, I hated the last 15 minutes. Logic would dictate it could have been a lot stronger, far too simple for my liking. The other issue isn’t about the film but about Denis Villeneuve, he needs to make a passion project next. He is being bastardised by studios (I dislike Arrival). He does a great job here, but I wish he could continue with his own work.
Ryan Gosling doubts me as a leading man sometimes. He was a great leading man here, the dead pan look helps a lot. But he has great drive and anger, such a great choice for Agent K. Harrison Ford’s Deckard was always a welcomed return. Ford gives one of his best performances in years and after all the iconic roles he played once again in recent years this is by far the best. Jared Leto’s Neander Wallace had such great line delivery but damn there wasn’t enough of him. Sylvia Hoeks as his henchwoman was strong and domineering, a great rival for Gosling. Ana de Armas is also very good as Joi, I hoped this was her star making role but something tells me it isn’t just yet. Blade Runner 2049 is a very strong sequel to a legendary film. The 2 hour 40 minute run-time flies by. It stuck to the aesthetic and ethos, but the ending was just to simple for me!