Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

Coming off an Oscar nomination for best picture for Arrival in 2016, director Denis Villeneuve brings audiences back to the world of Blade Runner, the new film taking place 35 years after the original. The audience finds themselves in 2049 Los Angeles, a city where corporations rule and the environment is in shambles.

Professor Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams, leads the investigation of the locations where large spaceships landed. Banks must work with her team to prevent world war by finding a way to communicate with the extraterrestrials whose ships landed.

Blade Runner 2049 is a visual and auditory masterpiece, with gorgeous Oscar-worthy cinematography done by Roger Deakins, and an equally amazing score composed by Benjamin Wallfisch with Hans Zimmer. Roger Deakins shows breathtaking views of cyberpunk Los Angeles, showcasing its gargantuan ominous skyscrapers and holographic billboards. The world of Blade Runner never looked so gorgeously disgusting, with shots that literally take the audience’s breath away. The score is also incredible, offering fantastic instrumental and synth tunes to accompany the stunning visuals. Deakins’ work, along with Wallfisch and Zimmer, is worth the price of admission alone.

The film is not only technically amazing. Ryan Gosling delivers one of his best performances as ‘K,’ a Blade Runner who is forced to question his own humanity over the course of his journey. Harrison Ford returns to his role as Rick Deckard from the original film, bringing his best performance in years. All the supporting actors do incredible work as well. Robin Wright delivers a powerful performance as Joshi, Sylvia Hoeks intimidates as Luv and Ana de Armas is captivating as K’s holographic love interest, Joi.

Blade Runner 2049 proves to be one of the best sequels of all time, greatly improving on the original. All the philosophical elements are still present, but the main character has a satisfying character arc, the romance does not feel forced and the cast has an acting range that extends that of a robot.

Villeneuve proves he is one of the best modern directors, with the release of what is possibly the best film of 2017 so far. Blade Runner 2049 is far from baseline. With a combination of an incredible story, cinematography, score and performances, it is a near masterpiece which cannot be missed.

– Harrison Solar ’18

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