Before I start this review, I have a confession to make and that is until earlier this year I had never seen the original Blade Runner. I know, especially coming from someone who a) loves sci-fi and b) loves Harrison Ford, the fact that it’s taken me 30 years to actually watch is really shocking. I was finally motivated to watch the original since the sequel was coming out this year and I decided that I wanted to experience at the cinema.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright and Jared Leto, Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to cult favourite Blade Runner that was released in 1982.
Blade Runner 2049 follows LAPD Officer K, a Blade Runner whose mission is to hunt down older replicant models and retire them. He follows without question, as any of his kind are created to do and makes his way in a world that despises and fears replicants. He finds solace with a hologram called Joi and cherishes these moments that he can have with her. After he is assigned to a case involving an older replicant model, K soon makes a discovery that could have worldwide ramifications and it becomes a race against time as he pieces these fragments to a forgotten past and how this could impact the future.
At a lengthy runtime of almost three hours, Blade Runner 2049 offers an immersive experience into this futuristic version of Earth and what it means to be human. Despite its length, the film is well paced and for a slow building film moves relatively quickly. Ryan Gosling carries the film well as Officer K, as he grapples with his identity and we follow his journey into finding out just who he is. The film itself is also breathtaking with cinematography provided by Roger Deakins and provides excellent sound both in terms of effects and the score.
It has been said that if you’re a fan of the first film than you’ll love this one and I will say that it’s true to an extent, some people will find this to slow, especially if they don’t care about the original. I would also say that if you’re a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi film, Arrival, which was released last year than I would also recommend seeing this as it has a similar slow building pay off and is more of a reflective sci-fi, than an action packed one.
Since I don’t have as big of an attachment to Blade Runner as I know a lot of movie fans do, I will say that I did really enjoy this film and while I did like the original film, I actually did enjoy this more than the first.
Blade Runner 2049 gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.