This will be a spoiler free review.
Blade Runner: 2049 growls at you with a weight that presses down on you. This is a world that wants to bury you, and it starts with the sounds, fills out with the visuals, and flourishes with the story. It’s sound design is industrial and oppressive, but it’s still a world I want to explore.
Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling (the guy you get to play strong silent types these days), takes up the roll as the Blade Runner. Blade Runners kill rogue replicants or bio-engineered androids for people that don’t give a shit about the in-world syntax.
People who love the original know that these movies aren’t about the violence. With that said, 2049 doesn’t feel like it shies away from violence when it needs to. But that’s not why the original is a timeless classic. It’s timeless because of the questions it leaves us with, and the ideas it sets rolling around in our heads. While most people will probably come away from the original somewhat bored due to its slower pace, I think after a couple of weeks of pondering it you’ll go from “eh” to “Shit that movie is amazing.” If it wanted to it could have been a Total Recall style film, but instead it went down the route of neo-noir.
The same goes for the new film, prepare to get your brain engaged. It takes the same mystery as the original, but comes at it from the opposite direction. It unravels the idea, and at about the time you’re asking yourself when the 160 minutes is going to be over cause you’ve already figured it all out, the mystery winds itself back up and you’re left questioning everything again.
Ana de Armas plays Joi, the girlfriend of K, and the concepts she introduces into the story may have already been well plummed by movies like HER but she’s still a great ingredient in the story. Also she’s adorable.
Dave Bautista, otherwise known as Drax The Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy jumps into the start of the movie to offer the first pieces of the puzzle.
Also the guy from this meme plays a fun little bit-part:
Jared Leto plays perhaps the most annoying character in the film. The blind owner of the new and improved Tyrell Corporation, he’s driven by the need to understand the last party trick Tyrell came up with. He gets this across mostly by talking in bible verses.
Harrison Ford doesn’t feature in the film as much as I thought he would, and I think this is to the films credit. Even when he’s on camera, you don’t feel like he’s leeching away the limelight from our new hero.
The movie adds to the mythology of the world in a good way. Only a few obviously open threads leaving it open to sequel territory are left lying around. I’m not sure another film could pull off the same trick a third time. But I’ve been proved wrong before.
Sophie Chung, my new improved professional with an opinion who doesn’t abandon me just because they’re buying a house said “What happened to all the third world countries? Couldn’t they have paid all them for labour instead of making clones?”
“Paying them defeats the whole point.”
Is it a great film? Yes. My God yes. It is long though, so you better pee first. You don’t want to miss a single scene.
I’m not sure how the process goes for hiring someone to run an IMAX but I’m pretty sure it starts with a job interview question like “when you turn up your music, what number do you put it up to?”
“Usually I turn it up to 11.”
“No further questions. You’re hired.”
That was my only complaint with the actual viewing experience. One of my friends came out the cinema with mild tinnitus. Watching the movie without 3D on the massive IMAX screen was amazing though.