Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, Robin Wright, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Written by: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
Rating: R Running Time: 2 hr 43 min.
On this trip to the movies I was joined by my brother, Andrew. We both loved the original Blade Runner movie and were cautiously optimistic about the sequel.
I was (we all were right?) skeptical when I heard they were making a sequel to Blade Runner. I mean come on, that’s an impossible act to follow. Right? The original film was way ahead of its time and it took several decades for people to wrap their heads around its awesomeness. It redefined the modern dystopian vision on-screen and was frequently emulated. Ever since the original hit our theaters, movies depicting a bleak future were often compared the Blade Runner, and a lot of them were left wanting.
However, when I heard Denis Villeneuve was directing this, I started to hope. Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, were all really impressive films. I was convinced he was the right director for the replicant killing sequel and I was happy to be proven right. If time travel were possible, I’d send him back to direct the last two alien films!
Blade Runner 2049 is beautiful, thoughtful, tragic, weird, and moving. One screening will not be enough to fully appreciate how good this film is. It’s every bit as good as the original, and perhaps (certainly in some key ways) even better. What it lacks in showy scene stealing performances, it easily makes up with incredible production design, and a thoughtful approach to the main character’s motivations and actions.
This is a very clever film with many layers to explore, and it’s made all the more watchable by the great performances from Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, and Harrison Ford. Sylvia Hoeks also turns in a memorable performance as Luv, as cold an assistant/hit-woman you’re ever going to see at the movies.
Fans of the original should not be disappointed. It’s every bit a Blade Runner movie, but also stands alone as a thoughtful well written and designed piece of science fiction film-making.
I was really impressed with Sylvia Hoeks. Her moment with Robin Wright was one of my favorite scenes in the entire film.