When “Blade Runner” first came out in 1982, it was an immediately divisive movie, splitting critics amongst those that hailed its unique visuals and storytelling while others criticized its slow pace and lack of plot development. Since its original release, “Blade Runner” has gained a cult following, large enough to push Warner Bros. to create a sequel, “Blade Runner: 2049.” For many fans, the question hung in the air whether a good enough sequel could be made that equals or even surpasses the prowess of the first. The answer to that question after the release is a clear and loud yes.
Addressing what was probably the biggest worry for “Blade Runner: 2049,” yes it is slow. Much like its predecessor, “Blade Runner: 2049” is not the action-packed thriller that most movies today have become. While slightly faster the original, this movie takes its time and lets the viewer become slowly enwrapped in the world created, one that is amplified by the incredible visual effects. However, when there are action scenes, while far and few in between, it feels well worth the wait and exceptionally done. This is credit to not only the excellent filmmaking by director Denis Villeneuve but also the exceptional acting by most of the cast, especially Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford who play Officer K and Rick Deckard respectively.
One of the things that make “Blade Runner: 2049” such a great sequel is the way that it expands on the lore created in “Blade Runner.” Unlike many sequels, “Blade Runner: 2049” shows a word that seems to have matured in an organic and rational way, never undermining the events of the previous movie and in fact gives them more weight. The world in which “Blade Runner: 2049” exists in is enticing and interesting, but only because it builds on what already exists.
However, there are some drawbacks to the movie. Jared Leto’s character of Niander Wallace is absolutely boring and is sometimes unbearable to watch. Thankfully, the spectacular acting and character moments by the other members of the cast overshadows Jared Leto’s poor performance. Also, as stated before, the pacing is quite slow. In a time where we have become used to non-stop action, some may find “Blade Runner: 2049” to be a hardship to watch, especially since it goes on for two hours and 49 minutes. But for some, the pace might a welcomed change and could in fact improve the experience as they become more interested in a world they can care about and explore.
In the end, “Blade Runner: 2049” is a fantastic watch. With incredible visual effects, superb acting for the most part, interesting storytelling and expert worldbuilding, “Blade Runner: 2049” is an experience that must be seen in the movie theater for just how good it is.
Featured photo courtesy of Blade Runner franchise
- Great acting
- Excellent Plot
- Good worldbuilding
- Very isolated, poor acting