1982’s Blade Runner isn’t just one of the greatest films of all-time, but an incredibly influential sci-fi film that inspired and instigated the art of generations hence. It’s hard to follow up to something so monumental, but visionary director Denis Villenueve has crafted a jaw dropping sequel in Blade Runner 2049, a beautiful dystopian noir that asks the biggest questions in the world about the definition of humanity and the task of meeting your maker, enthralled with beautiful spectacle and memorable performances in. In following up to a classic, Villenueve has crafted his own masterpiece, expanding the world of Blade Runner in one of the most gorgeous films ever made.
Actors aside, the star of the film is cinematographer Roger Deakins, who has shot a gorgeous epic in which each frame is a painting, and each shot is individually beautiful and intricate. Matched with an incredible experimental score by Hans Zimmer, the film uses it’s breathtaking filmmaking to service an even greater story, a noir mystery that asks both physical questions, and the questions at the core of our existence. It’s daunting, and Villenuve crafts an extension of Ridley Scott’s world that slowly connects in the most genius of ways to the original film, both through characters and it’s themes and visual cues.
Ryan Gosling a very different performance, a stoic yet vulnerable turn as L.A.P.D. officer, and Harrison Ford brings the perfect energy and gravitas in his return to the role as Rick Deckard, which in turn gives the film even more emotion. In fact, the entire cast is terrific, and among the amazing ensemble, it’s Ana de Armas’s turn as Gosling’s lover that is the most memorable, bringing a beautiful sense of innocence and beauty to each of her scenes.
The film industry is inundated with sequels, yet Blade Runner 2049 joins the likes of recent sequels such as Mad Max: Fury Road or The Dark Knight in that it stands alone as a future classic. The emotional drama, matched with its breathtaking technical achievements, are reasons why we go to the movies, and Blade Runner 2049 is a cinematic event unlike we’ve seen in quite sometime. Grade: A+