blade runner 2049

I got to hand it to Director Denis Villenueve, because as a sequel to the 1982 sci-fi noir classic, he could have easily gone for a more action oriented take on the franchise. Something very much targeted for a "mainstream crowd." Nope! Not so much. Taking a cue from the previous entry, this is a moody, atmospheric, intriguing, visually stunning, methodically paced movie, that luxuriously allows scenes to just naturally breath, so that movie goers can get sucked into it's world. At least that seems to be the intentions. 

This is very much what I would call an artsy high-brow science-fiction film. This will not be for everyone's liking and tastes. Some will call it slow and boring. Others will call it pretentious and indulgent. While there will also be those that will simply say that it's overrated. I however, I actually liked it quite a bit. I found it to be very compelling, and I was hooked into the general mystery of the premise. I wanted to see where the story was going, and how it was going to resolve itself. The 163 minutes run-time didn't even feel long to me at all, and I thought it actually justified itself for it's excessive length. 

I'll concede that it's not the be-all end-all of sci-fi cinema though. The story seems mysterious and complicated, but it's actually a lot more straight forward than I thought it would be. It's overall thematic goal of the narrative isn't really that ambitious either, and calls back to very familiar story tropes. Plot holes. It has obvious unexplained plot holes. Unless there's a future Director's cut that will fill in those gaps. Oh, and there's that final act. I didn't really like how the final act of the story went down. 

Despite the issues I have with the movie, I wasn't kidding when I said that I was hooked throughout the film. The main reason for that is mostly because of Ryan Gosling, and the character he plays. I was heavily invested with this Blade Runner that certain people refer to as "K." I actually sympathized with his station in life, and wanted to see how he was going to go through this experience. I also found his relationship with Ana De Armas' character to be very compelling, and arguably the most fascinating aspect of "K's" story. Fantastic work by both actors! 

While "Blade Runner 2049" isn't exactly a traditionally fun movie, I would still argue that it is still an entertaining visionary work that needs to be experienced. Speaking of vision, beside Gosling and De Armas as motivation to watch this, the other primary reason to see this movie is for the cinematography work by Roger Deakins. Absolutely beautiful work on the visuals! I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen. Of course, if you've seen the original Blade Runner movie, I shouldn't have to convince you to check this sequel out. 

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Also watch these three prequel short films before watching Blade Runner 2049. It's good exposition to be exposed to.... 
"Black Out 2022" Anime Short  
"2036: Nexus Dawn" Short 
"2048: Nowhere to Run" Short