Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
R | 2h 43min | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 6 October 2017 (USA)
Synopsis: A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.
Review: Starting this Blade Runner 2049 review off with full disclosure. I recently rewatched the original Blade Runner film (1982) and was underwhelmed. Although the trailer for this was intriguing the run time (2h 43min) was a huge turn off. A movie that long needs to be Titanic in proportion. I walked in apprehensive but left feeling like I just watched the best film of the year and possibly had the best theater experience of the last decade; if you know a few things ahead of time.
“K” (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner tasked with hunting down the old school Replicants (bioengineered androids) we were introduced to in the first film. There have been many improvements and the old ones need to go. When K finds the remains of something unexpected it unleashes a barrage of questions about his past and what the world thinks they know about Replicants.
There is a reason it takes nearly 3-hours to tell that simple story. Each new discovery peels off a little more information and sends K to different areas both on Earth and off-planet. These journeys open up beautifully crafted worlds that submerge you deeper and deeper into the film. The visuals are stunning. Even when there is minimalistic color pallets you are still mesmerized by the scenery. The use of the natural elements help elevate the sense of dreariness and post apocalyptic heaviness. The science fiction is not so technically advanced that you roll your eyes at the possibility. In fact it is very grounded in probable. And of course at the heart of Blade Runner are the Replicants who are represented here perfectly.
The story is crafted well by Fancher and Green. They do not try and overload it with fluff or stray from the original intent. There are many characters and pieces but they keep them in check and never allow the plot to get away from them. Everything works together for the good of the whole. Gosling is no doubt the main character but at the same time everyone equally shares in the glory regardless of screen time. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard but we don’t see him until late into act three. But that is ok. It isn’t his story this time. He is there are a piece and it fits snugly. And of course Ford nails every line.
To fully enjoy this cinematic masterpiece there are a few things you need to do. I rarely say this and in fact it might be the first time I have. Splurge on the biggest, loudest theater in your area. If you have to pay more for IMAX and Dolby Atmos, and vibrating leather recliners do it! For one it is 3-hours so you want to be comfy. Plus I am serious when I say it is a beautiful piece of film making. Make sure you see and hear it to its full potential. I am saying it is the best theater experience in the last decade which means it needs to be seen in the theater. Do not wait until the blu-ray comes out to watch it. Will it be as impressive on a home theater? Maybe. But don’t risk it.
Blade Runner 2049 is rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language. It is too long and mature for kids so get a babysitter. You will both thank me later. As a big screen release I give it 4.75 out of 5 child labor laws. It will win big come award season for sure.