Darkness, rain, empowering adverts, Asian food and a question of identity and humanity. Yes, we certainly are back in the world of Blade Runner.
It is 30 years since the events of Blade Runner but the sun-starved, murky, dystopian Los Angeles still remains just to a larger scale than before.
This time around, Ridley Scott takes a step back into executive producer, bringing Prisoners and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve to the hot seat.
But much like the original, it’s the grand design and blanketing sound is what grasps you by the collar and rattles you. The iconic soundtrack of the original 1982 sci-fi masterpiece – courtesy of composer Vangelis – is reincorporated this time around by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch and immediately you are engulfed back into this estranged world.
It would be difficult to delve too far into the storyline given the complexity and any potential for spoilers, but there is a definite progression from the original whilst also keeping every inch of quality the Scott’s 1982 masterpiece possessed.
Nevertheless, Ryan Gosling takes the role of Officer K (or KD6-3.7 to be precise) – a Blade Runner tasked to hunt down bio-engineered humans known as replicants.
It’s some leap for Gosling to go from all singing and dancing in La La Land to an environment completely unknown to him as he takes on his first sci-fi role. It’s testament to this incredible actor that he can indulge his audience in every product he touches through the unique emotion he can portray simply through a bland facial expression.
And Blade Runner 2049 is certainly a movie that has its audiences emotionally invested in – it isn’t the standard sci-fi actioner that passes by. There’s a lot of attention and concentration needed to grapple through the storyline and its characters.
This film wasn’t made for anyone, but for fans of the original – of which its base grew over time and as a result is now considered one of the greatest movies of its time.
Villeneuve is rapidly becoming a genius of our generation and he seamlessly continues this world with all the traits of the original. Blade Runner captures everything that was brilliant about its predecessor, expertly blending the film noir and sci-fi elements almost creating its own unique genre.
It’s a slow burner, but through the vast panning shots of a vast dystopian universe and the smothering soundtrack, you can’t help but be constantly taken aback by this immense spectacle.
Another element of the original that remains is Harrison Ford’s character of Deckard who although features less than anticipated, is an integral part to the story and Ford nails the performance as expected despite his initial concerns of featuring in the sequel.
One red mark against the film would be its length however. At two hours and forty-four minutes, it exceeds the threshold and there are plenty of moments throughout the movie that could be cut just to help make it more comfortable for its audience.
That said, this should take nothing away from what an incredibly deserved sequel Blade Runner 2049 is. It is a movie that will live long in the memory of fans of the original and it exceeds expectations with Villeneuve pulling off another masterpiece in his already impressive catalogue of products.