It’s hard to make a sequel to an already great movie. After all, there’s no way it’s going to be as good as the original. When it was announced that they were going to make a sequel to Blade Runner, my first reaction was… no, don’t ruin a classic with a shity sequel. Then it was announced that it was actually going to be set 30 years into the future to help keep up with a current timeline since the last movie was released and then they wouldn’t have to use CGI to make Harrison Ford look younger ro recast Decker. That was my first clue that maybe they were heading in the right direction with the sequel. It’s true, I was skeptical, but I’m always happy to be proven wrong with movies and I have to admit I was wrong, Blade Runner 2049 is a great movie. Simple as that!
First, it had the look and feel of the original Blade Runner. In some ways it felt like they were just remaking the original and tapping into our nostalgia. But then you soon realize, that this is a unique story that expands upon the mythology set forth in the original movie. It is visually stunning and coupled with the music that very much sounds like the original soundtrack, transporting us back into Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles of 2019, but now 2049. We all know that Harrison Ford came back to reprise his role as Decker, but what did it for me was the small Cameo by Edward James Olmos talking about what he thought happened to Decker after the first movie. Sometimes with Sci-Fi movies they rely too much on CGI and ever since the Star Wars prequels, this has been main complaint, because in our hearts as moviegoers, we love practical effects and while you can’t escape CGI in this movie it doesn’t feel like you’re in a video game and very much like the real world. I think that was part of the genius of the producers and director. Let’s face it, great sci-fi and this day and age is always better with practical effects. That’s one of the reasons we loved The Force Awakens even if the story was too familiar.
The cast was damn near perfect. I honestly can’t find any fault with Ryan Gosling, he’s truly a gifted actor and with minimal dialogue conveys the wide range of emotions to make the audience like and feel for his character especially when you quickly find out that he’s just a newer model of a replicant. It was great how they didn’t make the audience wait for that plot twist later on in the movie. But just like our beloved aliens in Star Trek who always have the perfect commentary on Humanity, that same concept works for Ryan Gosling’s replicant character especially when trying to find a good human name for himself. Harrison Ford was perfect as Decker and it’s like he never left, but he never lets us down even when reprising a role that made him famous. Even if the movies aren’t as good as the ones that made us fall in love with his characters, he is always fantastic. Pairing him and Gosling together was a smart move and you can easily see that by the time you get to the end of the movie. But this is really Ryan Gosling’s characters Journey more than it is about Decker because Decker only serves the major plot twist about what happened to him and Rachel after the first Blade Runner movie. I have to admit, what makes this moving great is perfect casting…everybody from Jared Leto playing Wallace who takes over the role of Tyrell from the first movie so to speak to into the herd as Nails LA detective in charge played by Robin Wright. And even one of my favorites Mackenzie Davis from Halt and Catch Fire who plays a replicant hooker with an ulterior motive and a heart of gold. Everybody who was in this movie did a great job and there wasn’t one performance that I wasn’t happy with.
Now I’m not going to spoil this movie for the audience. But the basic plot is to expand upon the mythology set forth from the first movie with replicants not realizing who they are and then trying to be more human or self aware. But as dangerous as that is as demonstrated for the first Blade Runner movie ask yourself this, what is even more dangerous for replicants journey that could threaten Humanity itself. Because that’s the McGuffin of the movie and it adds many more layers to the struggles of our characters and their catharsis that makes this a great story. But there is one line from Jared Leto’s Wallace character that I think kind of defines the story, ” every civilization is built upon the labor of a disposable civilization and Society developed an aversion to slavery over time until it was finally engineered.”
You get those themes of one civilization trying to prove that they are equal, but in this case it is one that is engineered compared to actual Humanity. The main struggles of our characters are moving in the themes of self-determination constitutes living a peaceful life. It’s these kind of themes that add to the allegory built within a great science fiction. And wow, did Ridley Scott and his team do their job with Blade Runner 2049. A good story will always make a great movie. It is the story itself on top of it being visually stunning and the great cast and performances that truly make this a perfect movie. Plus, it is the perfect compliment the original Blade Runner movie with expansion upon the mythology as mentioned before and will surely leave the audience wanting more. For me, I need at least one more movie to complete a trilogy.
I’m always hard pressed to give anything a perfect 10 because I don’t think there is anything truly perfect. I can always nitpick movies and find something wrong with them… sometimes as a Critic that’s what you’re supposed to do. But honestly, as I keep thinking about Blade Runner 2049 and whether the score should be a perfect 10, I can’t find anything wrong with the movie. Sure, I can say that the movie might be too long even though it doesn’t feel like it’s a long movie. I can complain that they didn’t get Sean Young to do a voice-over for her replicant character that does make an appearance in the movie. But these are all minor things that don’t really take away from the story.
Blade Runner 2049 is visually beautiful, the story is superb, the plot twist is fantastic, and the performances are great. This is a movie that you will want to see again and again and even if you’re not a science fiction fan, you will want to see this movie and definitely revisit the original Blade Runner. It doesn’t leave any disappointment and I was glad to hand My money for a full price movie ticket because it was not wasted. Blade Runner 2049 is as perfect as you can get with a movie and one that I feel everybody will want to see multiple times. Yeah, it’s that good and the way that movies should be made. It’s also why we love going to the theater because this movie should be seen on a big screen.