BLADE RUNNER 2049 Review — A Dreamy, Existential Sci-fi Opus

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Blade Runner 2049 ReviewBlade Runner 2049 ReviewSomething old, something new, something great

by Staci Layne Wilson

@StaciWilson

In the existential sci-fi opus Blade Runner 2049, Officer K (Ryan Gosling), an LAPD blade runner, is tasked with “retiring” rogue replicants trying to escape the inevitability of their expiration-date. K’s quarry leads him to profound places and quandaries that make him question everything he thought he knew.

K’s discovery eventually leads him to the most legendary and elusive blade runner of all time, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who’s been laying low in Sin City. In the course of his investigation, K clashes with corporate replicant creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) and finds himself falling deeply in love with hologram hottie, Joi (Ana de Armas).

While the spirit is true to the first Blade Runner (1982), director Denis Villeneuve brings an even more languid and leisurely pace, adding to the runtime but not necessarily to the storyline. While it doesn’t feel quite as protracted as Villeneuve’s ponderous Arrival, it’s still too long.

The look and style are definitely in line with what fans know and love, but Blade Runner 2049 finds its own flair in more muted colors against a bleaker backdrop. Roger Deakins’ cinematography, as expected, is stunningly beautiful yet subdued and in keeping with the dour future.

Production designer Dennis Gassner gives us lots to see, begging a second viewing of the film. Scored ferociously by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, the music lacks the delicate otherworldliness of Blade Runner’s Vangelis.

Gosling is well-cast and clearly K is cut from the same cloth as Ford’s Deckard – both characters the spawn of the stoic loner noir detective. Gosling’s performance veers from the charm of La La Land and dives back into the darkness of Drive.

Ford’s performance unevenly jumps from histrionic to laconic, but hey – he’s Harrison Ford and we love him. Leto’s villainous Wallace is OK, but the real standout amongst the costars is de Armas as K’s sweet dream girl, who, like a pulchritudinous Pinocchio, just wants to be a real girl.

Blade Runner 2049 stands on its own two dystopian feet, but if you’re a fan of the original, or/and the Philip K. Dick story upon which it is based, you’ll get a lot more out of it. It asks the questions that never, ever goes out of style: who are we, where did we come from, and why?

Blade Runner 2049 does its due diligence as a sequel, drawing on the patinaed past while offering up a few shiny new tidbits.

Rated R
2 hours 43 minutes

If Staci Layne Wilson’s Blade Runner 2049 Review has you intrigued, get movie times and tickets in your area at Fandango.com.

Blade Runner 2049 ReviewSomething old, something new, something great

by Staci Layne Wilson

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

1 Comment

  1. Lena Grey on October 8, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    My son and I saw this last night. First of all, it was TOO LONG! The special effects were spectacular and the costumes and backgrounds were wonderful. Except for Ryan, who was perfect for the part, the characters were hard to read, lots of blank faces and glares. The bad guy or girl in this case was very ruthless and some scenes bloody. The music didn’t exactly sync with what was going on. it didn’t always create the appropriate mood. Harrison Ford acted like he didn’t want to even be there. I kept waiting for more.The movie throws some plot curves but if you listen closely, the clues are obvious. If you liked the first ‘Blade Runner’ then you will enjoy this one too.

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