Denis Villeneuve has certainly mastered the art of brilliant cinema and his take on the sequel to the 1982 science-fiction film, Blade Runner, certainly depicts his talent as a cinematic visionary.
Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the original 1982 film by equally talented director, Ridley Scott, and takes place 30 years after the events of the first film. Despite being a fan of the cyber-punk, sci-fi genre, I had never seen Blade Runner and was unable to watch the film prior to attending the premiere of Blade Runner 2049 due to a variety of other commitments, though I was informed by my younger brother, who has long been a fan of such film genres, that Blade Runner was a good film.
After watching the trailers for the film, I was convinced that Blade Runner 2049 was a film I definitely needed to see. Despite my initial hesitancy to watch a sequel without first watching the original film, I was glad that the film opened with a quick recap of Blade Runner. The way in which the plot was carried throughout the sequel made it easy to watch and understand, without really needing to watch the original film.
The plot is intriguing, with a thrilling mystery that leaves audiences on the edge of their seat. Not only that, but the plot does strike up the question of whether we are morally justified in creating artificial ‘humans’ and whether we inherently possess the power to decide on who lives and who dies.
Ryan Gosling completely stole the show with his brilliant performance as Officer K, a ‘Blade Runner’ in the LAPD. Character development was absolutely fantastic, as audiences were given the opportunity to get to know K and watch as he progressively develops throughout the film. Each character in the film was valuable to the overall plot and contributed to furthering the film’s narrative.
My favourite aspect of the film is most definitely the cyber-punk and futuristic themes. The way in which the film contrasts the dark, gloomy and densely populated city with outwardly bright advertisements and advanced technology is alluring. Blade Runner 2049 somehow manages to show off the future as being rather bleak despite major advances in science and technology. In many ways, the film somewhat reminded me of scenes in Ghost In The Shell.
The visual cinematics in the film is another feature which was outstanding, especially the desert storm look given to the film’s rendition of Las Vegas. The red dust covered city illustrated the fall of mankind by depicting the desolation of the once bright, lavish and rich city. Once again, the film utilises contrast well in its portrayal of different locations, each with its own level of destitution.
As expected of a Villeneuve film, the visual mastery is aptly accompanied by a thrilling musical score and a soundtrack that adds volume to the emotions deep within the film’s plot. Every beat is timed accurately and not a single sound is left to waste, creating a cinematic experience like none other. Through the magnificent use of sound, audiences will feel entranced and a part of the film.
Blade Runner 2049 shouldn’t be viewed as a film, but more a cinematic experience. With a plot that heavily encourages deeper thought on morality and human motivations, a visual spectacle that demands the audience’s attention and a soundtrack that provides for a memorable cinematic experience, Blade Runner 2049 is a must watch film.