Blade Runner 2049 ★★★★★

After The Second Time: An Absolute Masterpiece.

This felt like an actual arthouse film, and that was such a big surprise. This could've been an unnecessary sequel that references the original every 10 seconds, but Villeneuve instead made something that feels personal and like its own thing. Every time the film referenced something from the original it had actual significance to the plot and even gave off a melancholic feeling.
Every impeccably composed shot — a surreal six-handed love scene; a shimmering hologram of Elvis, hip-swiveling into eternity; a “newborn” replicant, slick with amniotic goo — feels like such a ravishing visual feast. I could have sat through three hours of this thing with the sound off, just staring at the works of art on the screen. Every frame here tells a story. Nearly every frame looks like some sort of dystopian masterwork painting—a credit to cinematographer Roger Deakins, who should finally get his goddamn Oscar for this.
Blade Runner is a dark and depressing dystopian universe, and seeing these things from the original bring back lost memories of people we followed in the original, and how time has truly changed this world. Every reference has a reason for being in there, and the way they connect to the story is masterfully executed. There's SO much stuff in this film and it truly feels like an epic. I don't know if this is a controversial opinion or not, but I think this film is even better than the original. It took everything the original did well and expanded on those aspects. It expanded on the characters, it expanded on the world building, it expanded on the themes. This film has no right to be as absolutely amazing as it is. This is more so a Denis Villeneuve film than it really is a Blade Runner film. It feels like its own movie, and it's hard to imagine someone else doing a better job. At 163 minutes, it never feels too long. The movie explores everything it has to offer but respectfully leaves certain things up to interpretation. The way this film explores humanity, if a replicant or AI count as humans because of their emotions, it's done in such an emotionally satisfying way. The AI is programmed to love agent K, but it has its own will, emotions, and personality. Shouldn't the AI be considered as a human by society then since it acts the same way as everyone else? There's honestly just so much stuff in this movie, I can't even say everything I have to say about it. This movie is incredible and it's something I'd like to recommend in as many ways I can.