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Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

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Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

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Warning: The following contains spoilers.

The sequel to the sci-fi noir classic Blade Runner has finally arrived 35 years later. The new film, Blade Runner 2049, is set thirty years after its predecessor. In the same fashion as the first film, the plot revolves around the “retirement” of rouge replicants; which are cyborgs made as half human that are used as slaves. The film’s plot revolves around a Blade Runner – or replicant hunter – known as K (Ryan Gosling), who sets off to find a child who was born by a replicant. The film starts almost like a Bond film. K shows up at a farm in California to retire a replicant named Sapper Morton (Dave Bautistia). After doing so, he discovers the remains of a female replicant; and using forensic science, finds that she had a child. The film continues with K’s quest to find the child and destroy any evidence of this anomaly. His investigation brings him in touch with many different individuals until finally he meets up with the missing blade runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

There were moments in the film where I felt it was an amazing follow up and instant classic, and then there were moments where I felt 2049 was a major let down. The original Blade Runner was directed by the amazing Ridley Scott. While Scott did not direct the new film, he did have a major role as a producer on the film. The director was Denis Villeneuve, who in my opinion is one of the best directors in the past decade. Villeneuve directed Prisoners and Sicario, which were both almost flawless films that I believe will become classics. All of these factors had me excited going into Blade Runner 2049. To start with the positives, there were many things the film achieved. I was pleasantly surprised how well the film captured the same atmosphere of the original, while still expanding the setting past the first movie’s boundaries. The special effects were also quite good, and actually did impress me; which I feel is hard to do in an age of effects driven action films. The effects did not try to outdo the effects which made the original a masterpiece, but still gave an updated feel. The next improvement in 2049 was that there was much more action than in the first film. The action sequences in the sequel were larger and better than those in the first film. The biggest flaws with 2049 were in the plot. Early on, I felt that the story had the potential to be quite good. I enjoyed how the film was set up as more of a detective story than the first movie. However, there were major parts of the plot that did not matter in the end and had no real importance other than confusing the audience. There were also major elements of the film which were just straight up confusing. I felt that the movie had elements in it that were also not utilized enough. The character of Niander Wallace, portrayed by Jared Leto, was an element of the film I felt could have been incorporated more. He was supposed to be the main villain of the film, yet I felt his role to be minuscule and somewhat irrelevant. However, in the scenes he was featured in, I felt that Leto showed some very good acting and could have been more important to the movie. 2049‘s biggest flaw however was its timing. The movie was far too long, and delivered an underwhelming conclusion for such a long project. Blade Runner 2049 clocked in at 163 minutes; almost three hours. The movie felt like it was really taking its time and dragged out the story; until the final 20 minutes. All of a sudden, Deckard was reintroduced into the film; and about 10-15 minutes after his introduction the film began to move at a much faster pace. The ending felt rushed and redundant. The ending battle was quite unoriginal and was not the action packed fight from the end of the original movie. Part of what made the original Blade Runner so awesome was its final battle; followed with the monologue from Roy Batty. This film lacked any such iconic ending.

Overall, I think Blade Runner 2049 is worth seeing for any major fan of the original. I think I will have to see it again, and I do think that there will be various opinions on the film. I did not think it was a bad movie, and I thought it was unique enough and different enough from the first movie that it worked. However, I felt it could have been better in some areas as I have stated. The movie will either stand as a masterful sequel to a sci-fi classic, or will be viewed as a overrated action movie.

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Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049