Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 ★★★★★

Ridley Scott’s blade runner (whatever cut you watch) is perhaps one of the most seminal and influential pieces of science fiction cinema. The film is a unique beast to me as I’ve always viewed it as a masterpiece despite that fact that it is imperfect. I am of the belief that a film can always be identified as successful by how well it overcomes it’s flaws. Thus, if Blade Runner is the flawed masterpiece I am convinced that Blade Runner 2049 is the flawless masterpiece that somehow excels in not just being a great sequel to the original, but betters it in every way. The greatness of 2049 is attributed to the vision of Denis Villanueve, a director who has been greatly influenced by Scott’s original and has maintained a flawless filmography as a director in his own right. The world of blade runner is now a Villanueve world as much as it is a Ridley Scott one. It is particularly rare to have a $200,000,000 art house movie in disguise as blockbuster sci fi movie. At the heart of it though, blade runner has always been a film disguised as another film. The core of blade runner is a detective/noir story set in the future with all the motifs of a high concept thriller. On a technical note, Roger Deakins exceeds even our own stratospheric expectations of him by crafting perhaps one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever witnessed. Whether capturing the desolate Las Vegas ruins or the neon-dripped streets of Los Angeles, Deakins is a true artistic genius in our time and I’m glad he won the Oscar for his work here. 
Ryan Gosling is great here (as always) as Officer K, a replicant detective who uncovers a conspiracy that totally changes his perspective on the world and also gives him some unwanted attention from the Wallace corporation. 
Gosling’s portrayal of K is easily the most human character in the film despite his replicant physiology. He is cold and combative when the situation demands it but becomes a much more vulnerable character driven by his desire for a greater purpose. The supporting cast is amazing across the board, particularly Dave Bautista and Ana de Armas. Harrison Ford does not appear until a late stage in the movie but his portrayal of the older, damaged and lonesome Rick Deckard is really well done and is some of the greatest work that Ford has done in years.

Blade Runner 2049 is an astonishing piece of filmmaking on both a narrative and technical scale. The film is a flawless fusion of the detective/Noir and sci-fi genres that demonstrates the versatility of both.