Blade Runner 2049 – Film Review

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

What’s it about?
Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult classic Blade Runner and is directed by Denis Villeneuve. It stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright and Ana De Armas among others.
Set in Los Angeles 30 years after the events of the first Blade Runner, this film focuses on Agent K, a blade runner who stumbles across a mysterious artifact during a routine replicant ‘retiring’ mission. When his superiors realize the ramifications of  this find, K is asked to investigate more about the artifact and destroy whatever his investigation leads to. As he digs deeper, he uncovers terrifying secrets that could threaten  the fabric of the society he lives in and the very future of the human race itself. How he puts the pieces of this puzzle together and what he does with his findings makes up for the rest of the film.

What’s Good?
The best thing about the film is that it is neither a reboot nor a rehash of the original film. This is a sequel in the truest sense where the film expands on the themes explored in the first film. It has an interesting and intriguing story to tell of its own and does so in a fashion that completely involves the viewer.
The story it decides to tell is full of suspense and director Denis Villeneuve crafts a masterful screenplay that keeps the viewer looking forward to what happens in the next scene for the most part. Inspite of having minimal exposition scenes, the film does a good job in introducing the futuristic world and explaining the relevant concepts to the viewer. The unique technology, the darker color palette and the art direction succeed in bringing to life a dystopian world and adds to the visual experience that the film is.
Special mention for the masterful cinematography by Roger Deakins and the haunting score by Hans Zimmer. While each and every frame in the film is dripping with visual beauty and can be used as a screen saver, the musical score evokes all the right emotions that is required to enjoy this film. At the end of the day, this is a welcome addition to the lost genre of sc-fi noir and is a must watch!

What’s Not?
The pacing of the film is a little slow at times. Also the film stops being a mystery in the third act and shifts into action film mode which makes the film lose some of its intrigue. But these are minor quibbles in what is otherwise a great film.

Performances
Ryan Gosling is absolutely amazing in the film. As the film is mostly told from his perspective, he is there in almost every frame and brings the right amount of strength and vulnerability to the role. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard from the original and gives a good performnce, but does not have as much screen time as one is led to believe by the trailers. Ana De Armas does a good job in what can be described as a unique and interesting role. Jared Leto and Robin Wright are alright but feel wasted as they are in the film for about ten minutes each. Rest of the cast is good in their respective roles.

Final Word
A breathtakingly beautiful, suspenseful, well made, original science fiction film, this is a must watch for all film lovers!


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