Review: Blade Runner 2049

Thomas Capone | Contributing Writer

“Blade Runner 2049” is being hailed as one of the best films of the year and it deserves all the praise it is receiving.

The original “Blade Runner” is hailed by film buffs to be a masterpiece, and the new film continues this exceptionalism. While it is a fantastic film, “Blade Runner 2049” is not a masterpiece, yet. But it certainly can follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and become one over time, hopefully without multiple versions.

“Blade Runner 2049” is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who has directed films such as “Sicario,” “Prisoners,” and last year’s “Arrival.”  All of which are excellent films, just like his newest project.

But not all the praise belongs to Villeneuve, as some of it needs to go to the cinematographer Roger Deakins, who has shot films such as “No Country for Old Men” and “Skyfall.” He has also received a total of 13 Oscar nominations. “Blade Runner 2049” should be the film to win him an Oscar. Every frame has so much in it that any frame from this film could be considered art.

Ryan Gosling contributes to the beauty of these frames as he delivers one of the best performances of his career. It is Gosling’s Agent K that the audience follows for the whole film, driving the film’s action forward.

But Gosling is not the only one giving a great performance. The film also has Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, Ana De Armas, and Harrison Ford returning as Rick Deckard from the original film, along with Edward James Olmos.

The film also features Dave Bautista in a small role, where he gives the best performance of his very short acting career.

The most controversial plot point of the original film is if Deckard is a replicant or not. So, the biggest question going into this film is if it would answer that question. Thankfully, it does not and it leaves that question up to the audience to decide.

Harrison Ford delivers a fantastic performance in his return to the role of Rick Deckard. While he does not get a lot of screen time, Ford’s presence can be felt throughout the whole film. When Ford is on screen he is not simply playing the role of Deckard, he is Deckard. This total immersion can lead Ford to his first Oscar.

While the world of “Blade Runner 2049” does have new additions, it feels similar enough to the original film. The elements of film noir are still very much present in this world. There is no bright and shiny future in this film; the future is dirty much like the worlds of “Alien,” the original “Blade Runner,” or the original “Star Wars” films.

Not enough praise can be thrown at Villeneuve who masterfully crafts every single frame of this film, both with the actors involved and the behind the scenes crew, along with Roger Deakins. Every single frame of this film has a purpose and a reason behind it; nothing is there carelessly.

Denis Villeneuve has crafted an amazing film, one that has a heavy potential for awards. It is one of the best of the year, and once the audience has had a few years to sit with the film, it will reach masterpiece status. “Blade Runner 2049” earns a nine and a half out of ten.


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