The original Blade Runner film went through some re-edits in order to get the fan base it has today. Originally released in 1982, it was later re-done with Director Ridley Scott doing his own cut in 1992, and then we saw the final cut in 2007, the one fans say is the best version of the cult classic sci-fi noir film. 10 years later, Arrival Director Denis Villeneuve decided to give this film a sequel. Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the first film, and stars Ryan Gosling as Officer K- and due to the filmmakers requesting critics not explain the entire plot of this film, I’m not allowed to say any more.
This sequel expands on this world with an interesting story that contains subtlety and keeps asking more and more questions of intrigue as it goes. In terms of the acting, Gosling gives a great performance as a Blade Runner replicant who lives a harsh life of killing his own kind, but develops a change of character while on the main mission. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard from the original (only in the last half of the film) and it’s one of his best performances he’s ever given, as he plays someone with a regrettable dark past. Furthermore, Luv – played by Sylvia Hoeks – is menacing as the assistant of replicant manufacturer Niander Wallace – played by Jared Leto, who has a very minimal presence on screen.
The cinematography from Roger Deakins in this film is beyond excellent- Deakins really knows how to show off this bleak but creative future. Each location has an isolated feel and a unique colour scheme that brilliantly fits the tone of each setting. Furthermore, Hans Zimmer provided an interesting soundtrack that adds dystopian tones to this envisioned future. It does get unnecessarily loud in some parts, but it still works as an element for the futuristic mise-en-scene.
It would be best to watch Blade Runner first (preferably the 2007 final cut), and then see if you feel good about checking out the sequel, as Blade Runner 2049 does have a slow pace as well. I would say it’s a good sequel, as it continues from the first film that was made 30 years ago (or re-made 10 years ago) and expands with a subtle and intriguing storyline, and great filmmaking techniques to immerse you in this futuristic dystopia.