Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve has quickly become one of my favorite directors in recent years. His films are cinematical masterpieces, both from a visual and narrative standpoint. So when I heard that he was going to be the director of Blade Runner 2049 I was initially a little hesitant. On one hand he really hasn’t made a bad film, but on the other hand he hasn’t made a sequel, one that’s part of an iconic franchise no less, either. All that hesitation went away within the first couple of minutes of the film, however, as Villeneuve brilliantly crafts one of the most captivating and visually stunning films of the year.


There has been a lot of secrecy regarding Blade Runner 2049’s story so I’ll keep things brief and spoiler-free. Set place 30 years after the original, Blade Runner Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is put on an investigation where he learns of a startling discovery that could reshape the world as they know it. To find the truth, he seeks out former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) for answers.


The Blade Runner franchise is no stranger to secrets. For years there has been the ongoing conversation as to whether or not Deckard is a Replicant. Blade Runner 2049 answers some of the questions of the first film, but in the process opens the door to a slew of entire new ones. The narrative is intricately woven together by Villeneuve and screenwriter Hampton Fancher, who also wrote the original film as well. I was fascinated by every character, regardless of how big their role in the film was because no matter how small it might have been their implications to the overall picture could be massive. The film draws you in from its first minutes and doesn’t let go for the entirely of its two hour and 43 minute runtime.  It’s a daunting task, but Blade Runner 2049 tackles it masterfully.


Besides its captivating story, the film is simply stunning to look at. Villeneuve once again teams up with cinematographer Roger Deakins (Prisoners, Sicario) to breathe a new life into this futuristic dystopia. Every frame is its own painting as the colors and camera angles work together to create one gorgeous scene after another. The sound design is phenomenal as well, specifically in how the film utilizes emptiness to increase the tension of the scene. There are many moments in which there will be absolute silence while Officer K, Deckard, or someone else is actively doing something. It’s unnerving and actually sharpens your focus on what is happening on screen. Other times there will be a single sound, a boiling pot of water for instance, that will take over a scene, bubbling more and more as the tension builds. Blade Runner 2049 is simply a treat for all the senses.


If I’m being vague about Blade Runner 2049’s details it’s because this is one film you just need to see for yourself on the big screen. The story will keep you guessing up until the very end, and even then you’re still left searching for answers, much like Officer K. Blade Runner 2049 will definitely require repeat viewings, not just so you’ll get a better understanding of the overall narrative but because you’ll want to take in every single little detail again. Denis Villeneuve has made a sequel that surpasses the original in every manner, resulting in a remarkable cinematic experience that must not be missed.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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