Blade Runner is not a fast paced action packed thriller that you may see if it were directed by Michael Bay. Instead it is a long, slow burn which keeps you thinking the whole time (and into the following hours and days) about the deep philosophical questions, that this masterfully written and choreographed plot had woven through out it.
The pairing of the original films screen writer Hampton Fancher, and Logan’s Michael Green, leads to a film that is gritty, and thought-provokingly moving, while also remaining true to the original film. Along with the directing genius that is Denis Villeneuve, we get a movie that is like a jigsaw puzzle, as we did in previous films of his like Arrival, slowly putting the picture together over the course of the whole film, but leaving just enough pieces out so audiences are made to use their own brains to try work out what happens next. Ryan Gosling does a great drop in the portrayal of his characters overarching development, which isn’t easy to do in any type of film never mind a psychological sci-fi thriller such as this, and that’s all I will say on him as to not give away any plot points.
With Roger Deakins as head cinematographer for this production we get a visually stunning masterpiece, as we did in other films of his such as Skyfall. It is clear he picked up a number of epic vista styles from Mad Max: Fury Road, another cult classic brought back to life by similar reimagining. Then with the music of Hans Zimmer, we get the same unresolved chord patterns that were used in the Batman franchise and Interstellar, but with the classic 80s synths of the original that create an auditory landscape that has little that can top it as a cinematic score. What you then get when put this together with the cinematography and artful storytelling is a true modern day classic.
This film left my friend and I in breathless awe as we tried to figure out where these emotions we were feeling actually stemmed from.
It is fair to say that one persons Michelangelo, is another’s “somebody who dropped out of art school to work at McDonalds”, for me however it was stunning. There is a very thin line between artistic genius, and just a sensory overload and convoluted plot. Blade Runner 2049, however, gets it just right. It paces it so that you don’t get hit with too many deep thoughts, or plot point in short succession. Instead it takes it slow, allowing the audience to think about and absorb what is happening, draw their own conclusion, then get given the next puzzle piece. And by the end when you can see the last bit of the puzzle just ahead, read to confirm or deny your final theory, it just keeps it out of reach, making you mind run wild with thought and expectation.
Who should see this film? Anybody studying Philosophy 1, or film theatre and media studies. Anybody who like films such as Mad Max, Inception, Interstellar, never mind the original Blade Runner, will enjoy this film. I plan on watching this film two more times (at least) to really immerse myself in the different creative layers, so would highly recommend you see it at least once to do the same.