Blade Runner 2049 Review


Marc Kaliroff, Staff Writer

When I go to the movies, one of my biggest questions is who will be the next Hitchcock, Nolan, or Spielberg? After watching Blade Runner 2049, it can be more than just to say that Denis Villeneuve proves yet again that he is going to be on that list in the future. Blade Runner 2049 is a masterpiece from beginning to end, and Villeneuve continues to set the standard on what should be expected in a movie sequel and the majority of science fiction films as a whole. It’s one of the few movies that is so captivating in presentation and so consistent in tone, it leaves you craving for more. After you finish your first screening of the film, the first thought that rushes through your head will be “I absolutely need to see this again!”

Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the 1982 classic Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford in the lead role. Although Blade Runner 2049 serves as a sequel to its renowned predecessor, you do not need to watch the original in order to enjoy the newest installment. You can breathe easy this time; no research or movie marathons are required for this sequel! Both fans of the original and newcomers can equally enjoy this film, as it holds something unique for everyone.  If you have not seen the 1982 classic, however, I highly recommend you go see it,  not just because it’s a good movie, but so you can get to know more about Harrison Ford’s character and acclimate yourself to the world of Blade Runner more in depth.

Blade Runner 2049 is a technical marvel when it comes to sound design and atmosphere. The movie constantly pulls you in just like the original had in 1982 for audiences at the time and elevates the overall viewing experience. Every action scene is great and has meaning to the story, and the atmosphere is exactly what you would want in a Blade Runner sequel: It’s dark and gritty, but still has humor and emotion. The soundtrack is also something that should not be overlooked. It’s just as good as movies such as The Dark Knight, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I can proudly say that Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer have knocked it out of the ball park once again with their masterful compositions and brilliant music sense. Each piece of music perfectly fits in with the setting, adding more to the already grim tone of the film and creating some of the most tense moments  in the plot more tense. It’s also noteworthy that although there is lots of CGI involved in particular scenes, the practical effects never make the CGI look out of place, unlike a lot of other films. It blends in really well, so much to the extent that one begins to question if certain aesthetics are real or not.

Ryan Gosling takes the lead role in place of Harrison Ford this time around as the new “blade runner,” whose name is K (a “blade runner” is a person who hunts down bioengineered humans who have gone rogue, called “replicants”). The acting in the movie is top notch just like the original. With the addition of a new sequel, Harrison Ford also reprises his role as Rick Deckard. Ford, as always, gives a fantastic performance and Ryan Gosling serves as a great companion to Ford’s character, with the both of them delivering another standout and oscar worthy performance. Another great addition to the cast is Jared Leto. As someone who personally dislikes the majority of Jared Leto’s performances, I can happily report that he does a fantastic job in the film as Niander Wallace. His sinister character fits in with the atmosphere of the movie, and he is by far one of the best villains of this year!  The supporting cast also deserves a mention for their stellar performances, but it’s really hard to not give away important plot details when describing these characters as everyone puts a large amount of weight on the story and every character’s actions impact the story of 2049.

It is impossible to talk about the movie’s story without giving away major plot details that will ruin the first viewing experience, but what I can say about the storyline is that Blade Runner 2049 is excellent and throws tons of surprises at the audience. It’s a story that starts very strong and ends on the highest note possible. The plot has the same premise as the original: Officer K needs to hunt down and “retire” the rouge human androids. Here, every action scene and every character has a purpose in the story. No one in this movie is simply there to shout out needed dialogue or keep the audience interested. Rather, each component of the film is skillfully included and is integral to progression of the narrative.

The primary issue that hinders the film is that it drags on too long.  Certain scenes could have been shortened or left out altogether, and with a runtime that is two hours and forty nine minutes, the climax could have been edited in length by a good ten to fifteen minutes. However, time is never wasted in Blade Runner 2049 and there is always something to keep you interested. A word of advice is that if you’re not into long narratives, then this will definitely not be your cup of tea. If you’re here for the action or if you’re not into science fiction or fantasy films in general, then do not watch Blade Runner 2049.  

In conclusion, Blade Runner 2049 lives up to its expectations and is even better than the original. It is the very definition of how a sequel to a movie and how films should be made in general. It is quite apparent from the initial frame of the movie that there was a lot of heart and soul put into it. It’s a cinematic masterpiece that has the perfect mix of both plot and action. The movie does have its fair share and plot holes and faults, but despite that, it still remains the best movie of the year.  It’s a film that deserves its critical praise and the rotten tomatoes certified fresh stamp. This was a sequel that fans waited over thirty five years for and 2049 did not disappoint.


Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.