Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

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Do androids really dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick’s original novel) Trailer

[from trailer] Every civilization was built on the back of a disposable workforce, but I can only make so many.

If you never saw nor enjoyed the original Blade Runner, I don’t know what your take on this sequel will be. The film is visually stunning, but that may not be enough to hold your interest.
The concept of the film revolves around the production of ‘replicants’, androids that are built on human DNA and are designed for off-world labor where the replicant humans die creating new worlds instead of risking human life. As with the original Blade Runner, this sequel takes place on Earth. 
The action plays out 30 years after “blade runner” Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) gave up chasing down androids and fell in love with one instead. Through this dystopian swamp, Ryan Gosling’s “K” walks in Deckard’s footsteps, tracking down wayward androids and “retiring” them. “How does it feel?” asks Dave Bautista’s Sapper Morton, taunting this deadpan hunter that he can only do his job because he’s “never seen a miracle” – an enigmatic phrase that will haunt K (and us) as he attempts to unravel its meaning.
After years of being an unflappable killer, the “Constant K” is experiencing doubts about his job, his memories and his nature. “I never retired something that was born,” he tells Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright), musing that “to be born is to have a soul”. Joshi is unimpressed, insisting that in this line of work, you can get along fine without one.

Such existential anxieties are at the heart of the film, which has the confidence to proceed at a sedately edited pace utterly at odds with today’s rapid-fire blockbusters. Mirroring and inverting the key themes of its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 swaps unicorns for wooden horses while retaining the visual grandeur that fired Scott’s film. From vast landscapes of grey rooftops and reflectors, through the rusted shells of post-industrial shelters, to the burned-ochre glow of radioactive wastelands, cinematographer the movie conjures a twilight world that seems to go on for ever. Bright candy colours are restricted to the artificial lights of advertising and entertainment. 

I like a plot that is difficult to read at first, that is revealed as the movie marches forward. This, to me, is the strength of Blade Runner 2049. I’m not going to engage in spoilers here because part of the fun of this movie is peeling the onion. As the layers come off, the revelations unfold right up to the last five minutes of the show.
Should you see it/will you enjoy it?
I suggest that you watch the original Blade Runner first if you haven’t seen it in a long time because so much of this film draws itself from the original. 
If you don’t enjoy science fiction, you won’t like the movie. It is genre specific.
I personally enjoyed it. It’s a long movie, but it held my interest even though the pace is slower than in the block busters that the movie going public has become accustomed to. Savoring the moment and trying to work on the plot and what is actually happening is important to enjoying the film.

20 thoughts on “Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

  1. It's not often I make a trip up to the city for a film, but it appears I may for this one. I saw the original in a theater when it came out years ago and have seen a couple of the later versions as well. An interesting film that I need to watch again.

  2. I, like most others, did not see the original in a theatre. It was only years later that I happened across the movie at the local Blockbusters. I immediately purchased the VHS tape, and later purchased the DVD, as it had become one of my favorites. I’m looking forward to this sequel. The Scott brothers are responsible for a huge chunk of the go-to movies in my collection.

  3. "…which has the confidence to proceed at a sedately edited pace…"

    Well, that's a big plus right there. All the Transformers, Mission Impossible CG non-stop action stuff just wears me out. I always thought the flying sequence while the credits roll at the end of the original Blade Runner was perfect.

  4. There are action sequences. It just doesn't jump from action sequence to action sequence – and you need to pay attention to what's going on because it builds onto the plot and the suspense.

  5. Perfect. I shall make it a point to see it on the big screen, and then buy the DVD set when it comes out.

  6. There are a lot of 'cut scenes' that I suspect will make it onto the DVD. Some of them are in different trailers.

  7. I'l see if I can drag the wife away from her current preoccupation with getting this house deal done.

    We've both seen the original "Director's Cut" on BluRay, and both saw it in the theater when it came out.

    I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

    Gee….a movie that makes you think…..who'd thunk it!

  8. Don't mess up like I did with Serenity/Firefly and watch the movie before the series!

    By all means watch the original one first. It's an excellent movie.

  9. Moguls and investors were unhappy with a poor showing at the box office. I hope that the film earns enough to justify a third film. But even if they don't, this one is worth watching if you like this sort of thing.

  10. I read the short story a long time ago and I watched the original movie. I don't know how I'm going to feel about the new movie, buy I do know one thing, it's going to be playing at my house on demand. That's how I prefer to watch movies nowadays. I'll let you know what I think when I see it.

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