Bladerunner 2049 is a Viewing Experience Like No Other


Sequels generally make me nervous. Many times sequels (particularly “revamps” of older movies) end up a) falling on their face or b) as a money making scheme. What director Denis Villeneuve has done with Bladerunner 2049 is far separated from these things. 2049 is a shining example of what a sequel should look like.

The most common flaw with sequels is that they rely too much upon the “wow” factor of the original movie, and do not hold up well when not paired with their parent movie. Bladerunner 2049 uses similar techniques to its predecessor. However, it still retains its own style. When I saw this movie I had not seen the original Bladerunner. I was still able to follow the very tense plot.

This movie does not try to set up its own new series, or just blast its audience with two and a half hours of poorly shot action scenes. This movie serves the purpose of making its audience think and stands for itself. It includes some underlying themes about modern society and technology, but these do not water down the plot and act as a seasoning to the story.

It is easy to see that the people who made this movie meticulously designed every detail and every shot. This was the most immersive experience I have ever had in a movie theater. The sound design is some of the best I have ever heard. It felt as if I was following K (played brilliantly by Ryan Gosling) through every step of his quest. Harrison Ford played a more subdued role in this movie, which in my opinion adds to the film as it is not piggybacking on characters who the audience already knows. It’s obvious that the writers wanted to focus on making this a well made stand alone movie.

However, there is more to this movie making than looks. Under the shine, 2049 features an extremely emotional, heavy plot that keeps the audience engaged from the opening scene to the last frame. This movie was almost three hours long and I completely lost track of time while watching it. No character feels out of place, and every single actor in this movie plays their part beautifully.

The story borrows from themes of other books and movies like Brave New World and other dystopian stories. The main character is interesting, and the villain (Jared Leto) was exquisitely unnerving.

My favorite parts of this movie are when two or more main characters are thrown together. Whenever one of the big actors appears on screen, you hang onto every word they have to say. This is accomplished by an increasingly fleeting concept called “good writing.” Almost every scene is well shot, and short yet brutal action scenes keep the movie from getting boring.
I will refrain from revealing any major plot points because seeing this movie with fresh eyes is an experience like no other.