Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Blade Runner 2049 ★★★★★


Anyone who’s into films right now will likely recognise the name Denis Villeneuve and for a good reason, too - ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is his ninth film as a director, but since he’s been on the scene he’s created some incredible films such as ‘Sicario’ and ‘Arrival’, which I’ve previously reviewed as both 5/5. He’s on my list of favourite current directors now, as he’s got such a way of visual storytelling that I wish would be achieved in more films.


Set three years after the events of the original ‘Blade Runner’ (Ridley Scott) in 1982, Ryan Gosling plays K, a fairly new blade runner and replicant who accidentally discovers a huge secret whilst on a quest to kill a rogue replicant. It’s so huge that it could have unfathomable effects on the world around him, but he has to find out more. With more questions than answers, K is lead to track down Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), an ex-blade runner who’s been missing for more than 30 years.

I didn’t need to know who the director is to understand that is was a product of Villeneuve - the environmental storytelling is excellent, to begin with, with beautiful cinematography in every scene. There’s not too much dialogue throughout but it’s not really necessary, as a lot can be told from the dystopian wastelands and the tech-focused lives of the individuals able to live in the cities. Fans of the original ‘Blade Runner’ will be glad to see even more futuristic concepts on show, such as giant holograms of dancing women pirouetting through passers-by on the street, and your classic hover cars that seem somewhat smoother now. It’s a future that doesn’t seem so far away as it would have done in 1982, which in some respects makes it all the more chilling.

Although sci-fi, it fits well within the neo-noir genre - watching it I had this constant feeling of dread, and it touches upon many morbid themes. Several parts are painfully uncomfortable to watch but you just feel compelled to, such as a captivating scene in which we witness the birth of an adult replicant who’s just as confused and distressed as a newborn baby would be in the same situation.

The chemistry between characters is the real key here though, and it’s just done so well. Gosling plays conflicting elements of his character so believably, and you really feel the emotion building up inside him throughout the film. I particularly liked how well he worked with Harrison Ford, and I wish that they’d had just a bit more screen time.


I was also (thankfully) impressed with Jared Leto who plays power-hungry CEO, Niander Wallace. He manages to get the right level of creepy and his performance is nothing like his infamous Joker role, so he’s slightly less tainted for me now. 

Although it’s a sequel, the film itself works well as a standalone piece and has a useful few minutes of catch-up at the start for those who haven’t seen the first one. At three hours long ‘Blade Runner 2049’ could be perceived as too much for some, but I can guarantee that if you prefer a thinking person’s action film then you’ll love every second of it. 

★★★★★
Hannah Read

Blade Runner 2049 at CeX




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