Three out of four
By Kaylee Brewster
Fans returning to “Blade Runner 2049” will find that not much has changed in 30 years, which in this case is a good thing.
The one thing that has changed is time. A new Blade Runner named “K” (Ryan Gosling) picks up where old ones left off, which means picking off old replicants. New replicants like “K” are created to be more compliant and less questioning of their orders.
His new mission tests his programming as he seeks to unbury a long-hidden secret that puts him face-to-face with the one who started it all, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).
The world of “Blade Runner 2049” is visually and tonally similar to the first film. Los Angeles in 2049 is dark and grim as streets are only illuminated by neon signs and holograms.
Outside the city, the world doesn’t look any better, being barren and desolate, making for a bleak future.
Despite the dreary world, “Blade Runner 2049” creates extraordinary visuals within the dismal landscape. The cinematography is flawless, creating postcard-perfect images that are beautifully balanced.
The camera takes audiences all over this world, close-ups of human faces and wide shots of cityscapes, up and down, through cities and wastelands. It also finds unusual ways to view characters, like filming through a rainy window, making the characters look blurry.
The special effects only add to the visual appeal of the film. Futuristic holograms, flying vehicles, and all kinds of other technology are masterfully integrated with real-life actors, blending fact and fiction on screen.
And much like the first film, those looking for non-stop, high-action thrill rides better seek entertainment elsewhere. “Blade Runner 2049” takes its time and doesn’t shy away from still and silent moments. At two hours and 43 minutes, viewers must be willing to sit still and slow down.
There are still so many other good qualities to be discussed — the sound, score, acting, characters, the twists and turns of the plot — that people will be praising “Blade Runner 2049” for another 30 years.
As remakes, reboots and long-awaited sequels continue to grow in popularity, it’s easy to become cynical about the lack of originality in film but if they’re all as good as “Blade Runner 2049,” you won’t find many complaining.