Three decades after Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former “Blade Runner” cop assigned to hunt down the human-like robots known as “Replicants” vanished without a trace, a new Blade Runner known as Officer K (Ryan Gosling) discovers a horrifying secret about his past buried deep within the depths of the futuristic Los Angeles…
Aside from the original Alien, and despite the fact that it failed to make a profit on it’s original release due to both constant meddling from executives and the fact that most audiences at the time didn’t get it’s more complex themes, Blade Runner has become one of the most important sci-fi films in history with its visual style being the basis of the rise of the cyberpunk genre with films such as The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell.
Although it’s debatable whether or not this long-awaited sequel is as good as Ridley Scott’s magnum opus, Blade Runner 2049 does manage to recapture the awe and spectacle of the groundbreaking design of the futuristic America thanks to the outstanding cinematography, as expected from the likes of the great Roger Deakins, and the use of the colour schemes does manage to make this dirty polluted world look incredible, even in a post Mad Max: Fury Road world.
Speaking of which – like Fury Road – the score and the visuals set this film apart from any other film this year.
Although the plot feels dragged out at times due to the long running time of 2.43 there are enough twists and turns in the narrative to keep it unpredictable enough to match the uncomfortable environment of the original film.Ryan Gosling does an impressive job as the (not a spoiler by the way as it’s established in the first five minutes) Replicant Blade Runner Officer K. And although his arc isn’t as strong as Rick’s,it goes down some impressive twists. Speaking of Rick Deckard himself, even if the character isn’t in the film for as much as the marketing is leading you to believe; Harrison Ford once again steals the show with his talent of bringing new dimensions to his most famous characters being on full display here. However the best performance comes from newcomer Ana de Armas as K’s sweet hologram wife Joi. Once again in keeping with the themes of artificial intelligence wanting to be human, her sweet nature and her devotion to K humanises the bleak tone of this film.
Overall, despite having a few problems in it’s script such as Jered Leto’s underdeveloped antagonist, Denis Villeneuvehas managed to craft a worthy companion piece to the 1982 classic. As mentioned before, it’s debatable which one is better in the overall long-run, but Blade Runner 2049 will serve as proof that the legacy of the original film is in better hands than ever before.