In preparation for Blade Runner 2049, we had a screening of the Ridley Scott original at my apartment. In the middle of eating some rosewater harissa chicken and contemplating “what really defines humanity?” I thought about what a crazy call it was for a studio to sign off on a sequel to this and market it as a blockbuster. Blade Runner is unquestionably a tour de force of filmmaking (that holds up pretty well, might I add). But it was not a high energy action packed romp by any means, and I started to fear that 2049 would be made into something the original wasn’t just to get theaters packed.
In the hands of Denis Villeneuve, I shouldn’t have worried. Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning work of cinematic art that leaves the right questions unanswered and zigs when you expect it to zag. I have said it before, but Ryan Gosling is my favorite actor right now, and this is another example of his prowess. He probably says less than 20 lines in the whole movie, yet you feel inexplicably close to the character as you are going on this pilgrimage of self-discovery with him. Harrison Ford nowadays is always a little bit of a crap shoot, but he really brought his A-game, leading me to imagine a remake of Butch Cassidy with a Ford/Gosling duo. Just something to think about.
Without going into spoilers, I am going to say I loved the way the story unfolded, but perhaps the strongest aspect of the movie was Roger Deakins cinematography. This was a nearly 3 hour movie, but I was swept up in the beautiful world created, and captivated with each new location we were brought to. If Deakins doesn’t get the Oscar this year, I will revolt.
Long story short this ended with me, calling my mom crying after the movie and trying to explain why I was emotionally spent from empathizing with futuristic androids. I’m sure this will end up in the category of DVDs to watch when I am looking for existential confusion about the human condition along with Her and The Truman Show. 9.5/10