The Californian

‘Blade Runner 2049’ is fantastic and new

Photo courtesy of Empire

Photo courtesy of Empire

Matt Martinez, Staff Writer

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In 1982, Ridley Scott amazed and puzzled audiences with his science-fiction cult classic “Blade Runner.”

And now, similar to every movie that was popular in the ’80s, its sequel has finally arrived.

Blade Runner 2049is given to us by one of the most talented modern directors, Denis Villeneuve, and stars Ryan Gosling as K, a replicant who is ironically a blade runner, or a detective who specializes in hunting down and killing illegal replicants.

He uncovers a secret that, if revealed to the public, could shake society to its core. This discovery leads him on one of the most visually breathtaking odysseys of the year, possibly the century.

For those of you who aren’t fans of the original film, or maybe haven’t even seen it, don’t worry. You are still able to enjoy this follow-up. “2049” stands on its own and does not attempt to simply rehash the plot of the original, nor does it attempt to set up five sequels like every other movie in theaters today. It simply tries to be a great movie, separate from the original, from beginning to end, and it succeeds.

Over the past five years, Villeneuve has consistently released masterpiece after masterpiece, including “Prisoners,” “Sicario” and “Arrival.” Villeneuve continues his winning streak with “2049”. He is incredibly deliberate with his direction, and every single inch of future Los Angeles feels fully realized and lived in.

There are intricacies of the world that are explored, such as AI girlfriends and underground rebels, that further the viewer’s immersion. Every single frame could be a piece in an art installation. Even in a movie starring Gosling and Harrison Ford, who returns as Deckard from the original, Villeneuve’s direction still manages to stand out as the star and proves that he is one of the most talented directors working in the industry today.

Gosling does an amazing job playing K, and his character arc is incredibly beautiful, optimistic and satisfying. Every supporting actor, such as Ford, Jared Leto, and even Robin Wright, feels as though they are true inhabitants of this dystopian future as well.

“2049” is such a well crafted film from its cinematography to directing to acting that it almost becomes overwhelming. There are sequences, especially the opening scene that incorporate phenomenal visuals, sharp dialogue, and thrilling fits of action that stand out, and support the movie overall. But it is easy for certain aspects of the film to be overlooked. Going back and rewatching it will ensure a full appreciation of it.

This movie also happens to be nearly three hours long, which may be a downside for most viewers.

The “Blade Runner” films are, and always have been, a film-noir set in the future. They are slow burn, investigative thrillers that are in no rush to answer any of the questions they raise. For this reason, many of today’s audiences who have been conditioned to think that funny quips and superheroes make a movie good will leave the theater disappointed by the lack of oversaturated explosions of pew pews.

However, But there are enough philosophical themes, thrilling fight and effect sequences, and moments of pure mystery and tension to satisfy fans of the original, fans of film-noir, fans of sci-fi, fans of Gosling looking cute in a high collared jacket, and fans of cinema in general. “Blade Runner 2049” deserves 4/5 grizzle paws 

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‘Blade Runner 2049’ is fantastic and new