Blade Runner 2049 – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Blade Runner 2049- 4.5/5 – Going into a film, you have that feeling that you are about to experience something amazing.  From a historical drama pushing the struggles of one man to the sweeping fantastical journey of a group to save the world, you are enthralled in that escape.  Blade Runner 2049 falls into the vein of being a sequel, but at the same time it is its own film.  Through the aspects of a procedural drama, Blade Runner 2049 engrosses you in a world of something deeper with the ideals of life.  From the story, themes and the fantastic characters, this is a film that brings you a true innate feeling.  Even if there are minor issues, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best Sci-Fi films to hit the theaters, and one of my favorite films of the year.

Premise:  As a young replicant agent finds about a long-buried secret, it leads to an investigation that might unravel the world as we know it.

At the forefront, the prominent characters are:

Ryan Gosling as K

Robin Wright as Lieutenant Joshi

Jared Leto as Niander Wallace

Ana de Armas as Joi

Sylvia Hoeks as Luv

Harrison Ford as Deckard

Dave Bautista as Sapper Morton

There are few other prominent names (refer to the IMDb), but these are the main ones.  No matter how big or small a role, these people do an amazing job in providing distinct, flawed but complex characters.  Each of them have a very important role and descent backstory.  No matter if it is the themes or procedural method of the plot, you see how each person adds meaningful depth to this futuristic world of humans and androids (known as replicants).  The interactions generate that raw vigor that provides that intrinsic sense of value.  You see they want to the ‘right’ thing, but they also must follow the purpose of their own designs.  With thought provoking situations, it helps endear the characters to make tough decisions.  This provides that quality in a humanistic sense.  Providing this kind of emotive depth to characters that aren’t human provides a complexion of believability.  From the main character of K (Ryan Gosling), the side characters like Wallace (Jared Leto), Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright), and the returning character of Deckard (Harrison Ford), they provide that riveting sense of pure intuition.  The obviousness is there, but the great performances push past any of the basic sci-fi tropes.

The direction follows the procedural method found in most investigative stories.  Infusing that premise with a dystopian setting and sci-fi elements allows the director to add more mysteries to the detective trope.  As mentioned earlier, this is a sequel of sorts.  Taking places many years after the first Blade Runner, this film leads you further into that darker world.  In this new present day, you have old replicants being hunted down or decommissioned by newer models.  Ryan Gosling’s K is a new replicant that hunts down the older models for the LAPD.  We are introduced into this world through an initial confrontation of an old replicant, but it is thrown into a spiral within the bigger theme of life.  Even in a redundant theme, this film pushes it forward through subtlety by having it parallel the investigation.  As K investigates the aftermath, it opens a whole new path in what it means to be a replicant.  Unraveling the mysteries, you see the layers revealed through a slow, methodical pace.  That slow burn allows you to live through Gosling’s character.  Through him, you began to see the world, understand the characters and feel the purpose of each revelation that ensues.  The story pushes forward a sense of allure of why making choices and convictions matter.  No matter if it is work or personal, you get a sense of uneasiness where each character is confronted with the fragile balance between humans and replicants.  This dystopian future is awe and desolate, adding an ironic sense of the flaws in the meaning of life.  As the film progresses, it adds more depth to the themes, tone and investigation.  As the film shows all the intricates of the world, it provides the purpose of the investigation to the replicants.  There are decisions needing to be made, but not knowing if it is right or wrong makes it even more intense.  As we come to the final stretch, everything is brought to the forefront.   With an unforeseen twist, the film ends on a note that defines the meaning of fulfillment.  Knowing that there is some closure to the story is gratifying, but providing that ominous meaning to life adds a perfecting note to that gratification.

The cinematography is ironically breathtaking.  What I mean is that in the dark, gritty and unwelcoming setting, the raw visuals provide an engrossing nature that is grounded and realistic.  From the dystopian setting of LA to the outskirts that are visited throughout, it feels as if you’re part of this investigation.  From the technology infused social interactions to the replicants themselves, you sense something pure in the fragility.  The score is very stern and resounding.  That strong use of bass and deep sounds makes everything intense.  From subtle interactions to the all-out actions, you feel the tension that proceeds each situation.

Blade Runner 2049 is a thinking man’s kind of sci-fi film.  With very stark pacing to the investigation elements, you become engrossed in a world that provides you with a thematic question of life.  This is a film that might not be for everyone, but it is worth the journey for most.  With that said, I believe this is worth the full price of admission, and a fun time for Sci-fi fanatics out there.

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