Blade Runner 2049 Review
I’m going to be honest with you, I am not a huge fan of the original Blade Runner. I found it to be quite slow, and as I did not grow up with the film, I struggle to give it the respect it deserves with regard to visuals. Did I hate it? No. The concept is very clever, and the universe Ridley Scott created has a phenomenal amount of depth, but the film itself always leaves me feeling a bit bored. When it comes to Blade Runner 2049, even though I enjoyed it more than the first instalment, I still had similar feelings.
Blade Runner 2049 is set 30 years after the original Blade Runner film, and times have changed. The older generation of Replicants are still outlawed, but there is a new generation, a perfected one, that are legal. With older versions in hiding, it means there is still a need for a Blade Runner, played by the talented Ryan Gosling. I am a huge Gosling fan, and recent years have seen him slowly become one of the most respected actors around. Gosling’s character, K, is the backbone to this film, with his history being very mysterious, to both the audience and the character himself. As K works his job hunting illegal Replicants, his history is revealed, slowly making him doubt the work he has dedicated his life to. Gosling is a very captivating actor, and therefore fitted perfectly as this mysterious character, who we follow on a journey of self-discovery. The concept behind this film is really good, with it carrying on the themes from the first film really well. The story is also strong, there are really well-put-together twists, which make you see the film in a completely new light. My main issue with the movie though is the length. As I said, the story was really good, but sadly I struggled to get engrossed in it because of the extremely slow and methodical nature of the picture. There are scenes where we spend about 10 minutes watching K walk into a building, which I found just took me out of the story, and made me feel quite bored. There is only so long visuals can carry a film until they become par for the course.
Blade Runner 2049 has some serious hard hitters on the acting front. I’ve mentioned Ryan Gosling and his quality performance, but we also have Harrison Ford reprising his role as Deckard, a now-retired Blade Runner. Being honest, I am not a fan of Ford and this path of re-playing iconic characters he is on. Ford isn’t the same guy anymore, and it just doesn’t do it for me. We also have Jared Leto play a small role as the creator of the new Replicants, named Wallace. Anyone that follows Life of Films will know we are not massive Leto fans here, and this film has not changed that view. Every time Wallace was on screen I found myself instantly bored. I understand that his character was meant to be emotionless, but for me it was very uncompelling. He was talking about things that were very pivotal to this universe, to allow you to understand it more, but the way it was executed just made me want to close my eyes until it was over. When it came to the score for this film I was very excited, seeing as Hans Zimmer was involved, working alongside Benjamin Wallfisch. This isn’t the first time they have worked together, with them both being part of the recent Nolan epic Dunkirk. For me, the score didn’t really do much, it was simply a recreation of the original score for the first film. I can imagine this was great for some, but with me not being a big lover of the original, I wasn’t overly fussed.
Like the original Blade Runner, the visuals are groundbreaking. Each scene is a work of art. I would be surprised if this film doesn’t win every visual related award going. I do, however, think that they leaned on this too much - this being one of the core reasons why the film was unnecessarily long. Blade Runner 2049 has some really good foundations, with some great acting from the lead Ryan Gosling, and a really well written story, but sadly the length of the film just really diluted it. Anyone who is a huge fan of the original Blade Runner will love this film, as it truly is a modern day version of the classic, but anyone who isn’t that fussed by it, may well feel the same as me.
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