Before we even get started, let’s address the feature image just above. What you’re seeing is a VERY stunned and bewildered Ryan Gosling along with a royally remorseful Harrison Ford. Talk about a fighting faux pas, Warner Bros. has decided to embrace this oops moment and promote it. How can this not be considered both intriguing and entertaining? Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel that no one saw coming, so after all of these decades it had better be intriguing and entertaining if it hopes to regain its relevancy.
Blade Runner 2049 is set thirty years in the future beyond the events that took place in Blade Runner (1982). Even though the landscape has totally changed, the story still revolves around replicants, a bioengineered android. In this timeline, ‘K’ (Ryan Gosling) works to hunt down these rogue element replicants to kill, errrr…”retire” them in order to keep a balanced society. While on his latest mission, ‘K’ uncovers a massive secret that will spin society, as they know it, for a loop. Just how big of a loop will depend on the revelations that are had. Mystery shrouds every corner of this very complex plot. The deeper you go, the more questions that will need to be answered. Get ready for a journey of beautiful sights, sounds and substance as three decades of discoveries will come into the light.
When you resurrect a film property after 35 years, especially one that’s revered as much as Blade Runner (1982), you better make damn sure that you’ve crossed all of your “t’s” and dotted all of your “i’s”. In order to have a fighting chance, Sony Pictures needed to make sure that they started right from the top on down. Denis Villeneuve (Sicario (2014)) was brought in to direct this massive movie while original writer Hampton Fancher and Ridley Scott approved Michael Green (Alien: Covenant (2017)) were brought in to craft a stellar screenplay. Villeneuve received all kinds of acknowledgements and accolades for his work on last year’s gem, Arrival (2016).
In many ways, Blade Runner 2049 was very similar in style to his last work. Firstly, the visuals are simply breathtaking. It’s beautiful shot after beautiful shot. Gone is the gritty dark look of the original. Parts of this cinematic universe are still dank and dark but there’s so much beauty going on that will more than balance out the dull parts. And then there’s the sound. Just wow! All of your senses are heightened by the symphony of sounds that will be dancing on your eardrums throughout. This was also greatly enhanced by being part of MJR’s Epic Experience. Everything visual and audio has been upscaled to 10 plus 10 more and it absolutely helps the viewer become lost and immersed in this world of wonder.
On the acting side, spoiler alert but not really, is the fact that Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard. The new main focal point is on Ryan Gosling, who is very marketable these days. Joining the cast are Robin Wright, Ana de Armas and Jared Leto. There are even a few familiar faces that you’ll notice assuming you’ve seen the first movie. If you haven’t, you should probably make time to do so. It isn’t imperative that you do but it just adds to the experience if you’ve done your homework. And you want to fully take in the experience as Warner Bros. has intended, you’ll want to set aside a few more minutes to catch a couple of shorts that will help fill in the gaps between decades while providing a bit more back story.
Black Out 2022 is an anime short (this one weighs in at about 15 minutes) that gives a large look at the aftermath that picked up a few years after the credits rolled for the first movie. 2036: Nexus Dawn and finally 2048: Nowhere to Run are live action shorts containing a few of the characters seen in Blade Runner 2049. You will be happy that you spent this time in front of the computer in order to be fully educated on the state of affairs.
Getting out and experiencing this one in theaters will absolutely make things more enjoyable. The great thing is that it’s not because of gimmicky 3D. The platform of Blade Runner 2049 needs to be witnessed on the biggest screen possible in order to get the full effect, which is one of great pleasure. The story is deep and enlightening, the acting is stellar, and all of the beauty that your eyes and ears will brag to your brain about are worth the price of admission on their own. Not to many movies can be considered larger than life but Blade Runner 2049 is one that deserves to be mentioned. Check it out in theaters this weekend.