Denis Villeneuve is moving up the ranks as one of my favorite directors. After Arrival from last year and Sicario from the year prior, I went into Blade Runner 2049 with tons of hopes and expectations. I’d say Villeneuve not only lived up to them, but exceeded them at almost every turn. Making this almost three hour film feel like less than two as his beautifully shot film is engaging in almost every moment.
Blade Runner 2049 may be one of the best sequels ever made
K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner who stumbles upon a secret after finding runaway replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) that sends him on the trailer of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former Blade Runner himself.
Gosling is a tremendous talent. There are elements of his performance from Drive in this character that fit even better here than they did there. He gets a few scenes of action, which he nails, but much of this film is an introspective science fiction film. His relationship with Joi (Ana de Armas) is telling and powerful. While many of the performances in the film are solid, Leto is large in his role, but it does fit, Gosling is really given room to own this film.
The mythos of Blade Runner really gets explored in this film. It’s such a solid sequel and manages to keep so much from the original while being it’s own beast. Roger Deakins camera work with Villeneuve’s sense of tone really standout in every moment. Some of the scenes from the trailer showcase this very well, but I was surprised at how many moments I was awestruck by the images in front of me mixed with the booming score from Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.
Blade Runner 2049 will not only end up in my collection, but this is a three hour film that I’d likely sit through in the theater a few more times. I wish it came out in September or November so I was so focused on watching horror films. Blade Runner 2049 earns the Must See rating.