Movie review: “Blade Runner 2049”


Mary Ma

The highly anticipated “Blade Runner 2049” that premiered October 6 is a wonderfully shot, beautifully written, appropriately cast, and visually pleasing continuation of its predecessor. The film is the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi noir classic “Blade Runner” starring Harrison Ford.

Unlike most sequels that give viewers familiar characters and no substance, “Blade Runner 2049” takes an ambitious approach by actually developing the story while still exploring the world of the original “Blade Runner.” It is set in the year 2049, 30 years after the original film. In this year’s film, a blade runner named K (Ryan Gosling) is trying to uncover a dangerous secret surrounding a previous Replicant. (Blade runners are police officers ordered to hunt down synthetic androids called Replicants.) In the process, K seeks the help of the blade runner Rick Deckard (Ford) from the original film.

The film manages to recapture the spirit of the original film perfectly by expanding on the story and answering questions while still providing suspense, as all great movies should do.  

Visually, the movie is a masterpiece. Director Denis Villeneuve sets up a distinctly dystopian and dark atmosphere, from sweeping grey rooftops to a garish technicolor sea of advertisements that line the futuristic city. Although the movie is a sequel, the plot could be viewed as a stand alone movie, comprehensible without any prior knowledge of the original “Blade Runner”. The complex themes of man vs. machine, existence of souls, and the definition of living differentiate the film from others in the genre.

The film, unlike many blockbusters nowadays, is sedately paced, dragging out scenes of beauty for the audience to personally interpret. Due to this pacing, audiences must work to grasp the nuances of the plot.

Overall, “Blade Runner 2049” is a movie worth watching for everyone, regardless of whether or not they have seen the original.  Freshman Michelle Zhao said, “The movie, although slightly graphic at times, is a definite must watch for me.” It is a rare sequel that continues the excellence of original installments and takes advantage of technological advances.

The dark noir tone of the film and the uniquely slow pacing may not seem like the most thrilling combination, but the smart plotline that comes along with “Blade Runner 2049” will make the film more meaningful than the average thriller.


Featured photo courtesy of IMDb