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Blade Runner 2049 Review: 5 Things (Non-Spoilers) To Know About The Sequel

Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in BLADE RUNNER 2049

The time has arrived to judge the sequel to BLADE RUNNER starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto and Mackenzie Davis ("Halt and Catch Fire"). Directed by Denis Villaneuve (ARRIVAL, SICARIO, PRISONERS), BLADE RUNNER 2049 opens October 6, but movie fans won't get the chance at an early screening as Warner Bros. is keeping the movie under wraps until it hits theaters.  A few select press saw the movie including CineMovie and we were sworn to secrecy regarding the plot and twists in BLADE RUNNER 2049. So here's our spoiler-free review and the five things we can talk about. 

The much anticipated sequel to the acclaimed sci-fi movie BLADE RUNNER arrives 35 years later, and BLADE RUNNER 2049 picks up 30 years later after Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard rides off into the polluted sunset with Rachael, a replicant he was supposed to destroy. Ryan Gosling's Officer K is the new Blade Runner for the LAPD and he unearths a long-buried secret that could cause panic and chaos for an already unstable society.

Now that we got the basics out of the way, here are five things we can review spoiler-free.

Clever Plot

From the start, director Villaneuve plunges you into this world immediately and turns it on his head. The plot of BLADE RUNNER 2049 instantly connects the sequel to the original, and it's a clever way to bring some connective tissue between both films.  Usually with sequels you get a retread of a similar plot or an updated copy cat.  This new Blade Runner has a different purpose than merely chasing down Replicants.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a mystery thriller and Officer K has to assemble the pieces along with the viewer. The script by the original writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green meticulously lay out the trail which slowly builds but along the way, a few twists throw off what you've learned so far.  

Many of the themes from the original spill over into the 2049 version with questions about humanity and whether replicants are more human than humans. While technology has advanced, humanity hasn’t.

Interview: Harrison Ford Talks Blade Runner 2049's Worthy Storyline


Visually Spectacular

The intensity of the storytelling behind Denis Villaneuve's movie have been accompanied by equally intense visuals. Acclaimed cinematographer Roger A. Deakins reteams with Villaneuve for a third time on BLADE RUNNER 2049, and the result is outstanding. The cinematography is breathtaking. Unlike the original which was drenched in dark colors and night shoots, BLADE RUNNER 2049 has a variety of looks and colors depending on the setting, but the outcome is still that of a declining society.
 

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling is a worthy Blade Runner and quite different than Rick Deckard in a good way. Although he's played dark characters in BLUE VALENTINE, DRIVE and in ONLY GOD FORBIDS, this is Gosling's first foray into the sci-fi world and the actor captures the essence of his character in this dystopian world.  


Bad Ass Women

BLADE RUNNER had its share of strong ladies playing replicants with Sean Young’s Rachael, Daryl Hannah’s psychotic Pris and the snake holding Joanna Cassidy as Zhora. They were supporting characters to the male leads.  

In BLADE RUNNER 2049, the women are running the show. The scene stealer is Sylvia Hoeks as Jared Leto’s henchman “Luv” who is getting the job done for her boss.  Robin Wright is the boss lady at the LAPD Blade Runner division ordering Officer K around.

On the softer side of the women spectrum, Ana De Armas is “Joi” and as her name suggests she’s K’s only support system. Mackenzie Davis is another interesting character which of course we can’t say much about, but she’s got a small but equally important role in the story.
 

Slow-Paced

BLADE RUNNER 2049 runs at 2 hours and 43 minutes so at times the pacing is slow, but the original was also slow paced so you shouldn’t be surprised the director intentionally made it that way.

 

Is Rick Deckard A Replicant?

Will the follow-up finally answer the age only question whether Ford’s Rick Deckard is a Replicant or human?  I thought it did but again this may be up to interpretation. I came out of BLADE RUNNER 2049 with an answer although one of my colleagues disagreed with my assessment.

 

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