Blade Runner 2049 (2016) Review

Keeva Stratton

Film Expert

The cult classic is provided with a new and exciting chapter, which sees the next generation of blade runner chase down the last, while uncovering a secret that could change the balance between the humans and replicants forever.

blade-runner-2049image via pinterest

K (Ryan Gosling) is a blade runner whose mission it is to destroy any remaining replicants from the earlier generations—those who rebelled and caused a civil war of sorts.

One particular mission seems odd, and upon further investigation a skeleton is discovered that hides an incredible secret. To uncover what this secret might mean for both humans and replicants, K must do some digging. What he uncovers from the past will have enormous ramifications for the future.

At the start of our screening, a very strong warning from the filmmakers was given, asking that we don’t spoil the plot or the experience for the viewers. So, to prevent any risk or ruin, that’s all I’m going to say about the plot itself, but I have plenty to say about the filmmaking, and thankfully it’s all good.

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Apparently, they dream of cheese on toast, if a pun in ode to the Philip K Dick novel from which the film originated is to be believed (and frankly, who could blame them). For those fond of the original, no doubt the mere suggestion of a sequel brings about some apprehension, but I’m happy to report none is required.

While naturally different from its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 manages to capture the same dark ambience and existential qualities. It is also shot magnificently, making full use of the advances in special effects technology, without venturing into garishness.

Blade Runner 2049 is truly cinematic. Every shot is beautifully constructed to bring to life both the physical and emotional space the characters occupy. It’s magic to witness, and should certainly be viewed in a cinema.

Ryan Gosling seems born for this hybrid role. His general monotone detachment works especially well here, and the subtle nuances he shows fits perfectly into the world first etched by Harrison Ford. It’s no secret that Ford also returns, and his performance is more emotive than I had expected. When paired with the likes of Robyn Wright, it’s a talented cast, befitting the iconic nature of its title.

There’s a reason why Blade Runner has stood the test of time. It’s great storytelling and it ponders the very nature of humanity, while embracing a noir sensibility that expands its appeal from a traditional sci fi or futurist piece.

In Blade Runner 2049, we are again reminded of the ever-blurring line between man and machine—and we are taken on a visual adventure that (for nearly three hours) displaces our own sense of reality.

I’m not your typical science fiction fan, but Blade Runner in both its chapters is engaging in a way where you simply do not have to be. This is a special film, regardless of your genre preferences, and should be savoured as intended on the big screen.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Harrison Ford

Runtime: 2 hours 43 mins

Release Date: October 5

Rating: MA 15+

Reviewer Rating: 4.5/5


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