Nerdlocker Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049


It’s films like Blade Runner 2049 that make the unceasing waves of sequel-scum worth the constant eye rolls and negative reviews in hopes of finding something as mesmerizing as this modern masterpiece of science fiction. 2049 is a slow-paced, methodical, sci-fi noir thriller with sudden bursts of shocking violence. It is in that rarified air of sequels living up to and quite possibly surpassing the original. I don’t know that I’m crazy enough to say this is better than the original since it’s had thirty-five years to be examined frame by frame, word for word trying to decipher every possible meaning. I can say it’s at least as good as the first which I think is an amazing feat. Blade Runner 2049 is everything we were hoping for and more. The hype is real.

I was excited when I heard of an impending sequel finally happening but I was equally nervous about the outcome. Then, they announced the director taking on such a major project and suddenly my fears were washed away. Denis Villeneuve is a modern day master of cinema and his list of directed films however short is no less impressive and comforting when he takes on a new project. He is adamant about story above all else and because of this his films are nothing short of enthralling. That said, when he narrows down a script ready for filming, the story lends itself to astonishing visual splendor that eventually becomes just as important to him as his story and his characters inhabiting the world he’s trying to mold. It’s a meticulous process that he lays out and when the final product is on screen, his work and the collaborative efforts of those he surrounds himself with both on and off set, it speaks for itself.

A great director knows in order to achieve a great film they must seek the help of fellow talented film makers. On several of his previous films, including 2049 Villeneuve has sought out the expertise of visionary cinematographer Roger Deakins to bring his films to profound life in visual journeys that fall only under masterworks anytime he is present. He has an eye for visuals that is truly awe-inspiring. Whether it’s a desolate desert replete with dangerous drug cartels or rainy suburban wastelands, Deakins makes film explode with visual wonder with each and every frame. Whether a wide shot or close-up his scrupulous attention to detail is felt with a great welcoming. It is my opinion and the opinion of many others that Deakins is one of the greatest cinematographers that has ever existed and his lack of Oscar wins is disturbing to say the least. I have never felt this more than I do now with 2049, Deakins deserves the Oscar. Period.

A story this brilliant with so much eye candy you just may get a cavity, 2049 surpasses the low bar of half assed sequels and becomes something far more legendary. This is a film that can be mentioned in the same breath as classics like Terminator 2, The Dark Knight, and Aliens to name a few.

For a sequel to be necessary it must improve upon an already established world and must simultaneously stand on its own providing its own voice. 2049 succeeds at this in every way. I can’t stress this enough, this one is special. With such a stellar cast and amazing crew behind the camera, 2049 has the potential to go down as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. I think this will require time so for now we wait.

Ryan Gosling takes on the role once inhabited by Indy/Han/Rick himself, Harrison Ford who reprises his role in brilliant fashion. As Gosling’s character embarks on a mission of long lost Replicants and cold cases he encounters Ford in a remote and desolate ghost town. Their chemistry even when they are at odds with one another is fierce and honest. Despite not knowing each other, their characters begin a connection of lost existence and lost loved ones. In a world cold and heartless, it is their humanity that must shine through if they hope to complete what has laid dormant and unfinished for decades.

I want to shout from the rooftops just how amazing this film is. The beauty of the visual story meshing with a script that is dense, always engaging, and without question meaningful not only to this world of Blade Runners and Replicants but to our very real world and the impact we have on this one and only place we call Earth.

This film has however left me with one worry; that it will not receive the love and admiration it deserves from the average movie goer. This is a sophisticated sci-fi that paces itself and its answers and even remains vague on certain things from beginning to end. 2049 is not an action film and I fear many will be bored by the lack of spaceships and gun battles they may have hoped for. I hope I am wrong and they will see and appreciate this remarkable film for all that it has to offer. That said I believe fans of the original are going to take the most away from this experience and after waiting thirty-five years for a continuation, I think this is an acceptable outcome.

With every risk a studio takes on a film, particularly R rated films, that film then becomes the answer to a question of will they take further risks with either long stagnant franchises and wholly new and original subjects. If Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t perform well, other possible masterful pieces of art will likely never see the light of day. This has everything going for it, it’s up to us as the audience to raise it up into masterpiece territory. Please see this movie and keep an open mind. I do suggest watching the original film first as it will fill in some blanks not clarified in the sequel. I am ecstatic to say that my most anticipated film of 2017 lived up to the expectations of which there were many. What an absolute triumph!

Rated R For: violence, some sexuality, nudity and language
Runtime: 163 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard