Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - Review
by Bryan Mero
I present to you a sequel 35 years in the making. Blade Runner (1982) has been a sci-fi cult classic. I believe most movie goers will fall into two different categories on this film. Either you saw and loved the original and you will also love this sequel or you never saw or didn't like the original Blade Runner and your wondering why you spent three hours in the theater to see it's sequel. Which one will you be?
This movie was made for people who love the original movie. The music, the design, the use of miniature cityscapes, the sound mixing...it all harkens to Blade Runner (1982). I hesitate even to summarize the plot as most of it would be considered spoilers. I will attempt to do so but forgive my brevity. Replicants from the Tyrel Corporation are still hunted down by Blade Runners, but instead of humans doing the task, it's done by a new version of replicants that will not rebel like the older models. We follow 'K' (Ryan Gosling) as he goes on a case of finding and bringing in a very old replicant on a protein farm. Even though things do not go as planned, 'K' finds something else that could change the way the world looks at replicants and humanity.
See...I did it. As we follow 'K' we see how technology has upgraded from the analog devices of Blade Runner to the rudimentary digital devices of BR 2049. It all feels like it makes sense in this universe. From the flying cars, weapons and ad placement you could easily jump from movie to movie and feel at home. The difference with this new film is how many different environments we get to see and how well they are presented. This is a beautiful movie. Each scene is framed with such care and brilliance that you forget that this is all a made up future and yet, not too far fetched when you start talking about an overcrowded, overbuilt Los Angeles and barren lands that surround it.
Let's talk about the pace of the film. This is a slow burn. It has it's share of fight scenes, chases and shoot outs but that is never the focus of the story. Those are merely byproducts of the story. Yes, the story...which is one big detective search for the truth. I've heard complaints that Blade Runner (1892) was slow paced. This is no different. It is a noir detective story set in the future. Sit back and enjoy finding each piece of the puzzle and putting it together yourself. The movie does its best to explain it to you but I suspect that most hardcore scifi fans will figure it out right before it is revealed. This is not your typical 'robots causing explosions' type movie. There's a time and place for that type of movie and this is the time and place for Blade Runner 2049.
Is it a perfect scifi movie? No. Of course not. I wish we could of had more from characters we have seen from the previous film but at the running time of 3 hours, I'm sure they had to make their cuts where they needed to. For any faults you may find, you can't deny that this movie will make you think. Which can be a rarity at the movies nowadays. Hopefully you can see it with someone with similar tastes in movies and you can talk about the subjects brought forth: the state of our own humanity, when does a created creature be perceived as a sentient being, can replicants love and moreover, what does a replicant really want?
I think I've left you with enough info to know if this is something you'd be interested in. I definitely left you with enough questions to fill an evening with conjecture. Blade Runner 2049 is 'R' rated for language, violence, adult situations and nudity. So, yes, get a babysitter and leave the kiddos at home. This is adult scifi. Treat it as such for the good of other movie goers.
Overall, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most beautiful scifi movies ever made. The story continues and fills in the gap where Blade Runner left off. If you liked the original, do yourself a favor and see this on the big screen. You will not be disappointed.