The Dose: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is brilliant, beautiful and human.

The Dose: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is brilliant, beautiful and human.

The Dose: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is brilliant, beautiful and human.
October 08
16:36 2017

“More human than human.”

In the summer of 1982, the original Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien, The Martian) opened in theaters to mixed reviews and mediocre earnings. As the decades went on (and about five director’s cuts later), the film has become a sci-fi classic beloved by fans around the world and has inspired countless films, novels and video games to this day.

Just a little over three decades later, Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Enemy) takes the helm in what could have been one of the most unnecessary sequels ever and leave a tarnish in his fairly consistent filmography.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Blade Runner 2049 is an extraordinary sequel in every single way, shape and form. It is essentially like its predecessor — not only is it an excellent sci-fi noir epic, but it also complements the plot of the first story excellently.

Not going too much into the plot for those who wish to go into the film entirely in the blind, the film takes place 30 years after events of the original film. It follows Blade Runner “K” (Ryan Gosling) searching for answers of just what happened all those years ago.

Gosling does a great job as the stoic Blade Runner — even though we’ve seen this before. That is not knocking on Gosling or the film — he portrays his roles fantastically, and it shows here. Gristled Harrison Ford makes a return as Rick Deckard, the previous protagonist in the first film, in some of the best acting I have seen from him since Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The huge supporting cast has also done a great job with their respective roles — most notably Jared Leto and Robin Wright. The absolute standout performance was Ana de Armas as Joi, who is basically the one bit of sunshine and humanity in a world that is so bleak and focused on machines.

Let’s just get one thing out of the way. Roger Deakins is truly a master at his craft, and he has truly outdone himself in this project. The bleak yet beautiful landscape of the dystopian cyberpunk world of Los Angeles in the year 2049 shows the bustling city filled with monolithic-like structures and holograms that surround the city with life and a bit of realism. The brilliant use of colors present a beauty unmatched by any film that I’ve seen, and it shows the amount of care and painstaking detail it took to create a world that looks as extraordinary as this.

It’s a love letter to sci-fi and cyberpunk as a whole.

Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score built up what Vangelis did in the original and added a slightly more contemporary feel that makes the original score more epic and, at parts, more heartfelt and sentimental.

Though like the 1982 classic, this is not a sci-fi action flick with nonstop shootouts and chase scenes. This is a neo-noir with a slow-burning story and excellent bits of action throughout. It’s not a casual watch by any means, which would probably mean that there could be very divisive opinions — much like the original. Either you’ll love it for its epic feel, the meticulous pacing and enthralling world, or you’ll dislike the lack of action, confusing storyline and slow pace.

Overall, this isn’t the kind of movie you’ll completely understand in the initial viewing. It’s a movie that begs to be viewed over and over again — much like its prequel — to notice all the little details and admire the world of 2049 Los Angeles. This film has exceeded my extremely high expectations and is not just one of the best films of the year, but one of the best science-fiction films — period.

Featured Image: Ryan Gosling for Blade Runner 2049. Warner Bros.

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Michael Vu

Michael Vu

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