"The Future of Cinema"
A Review of "Blade Runner 2049" by Nathan H. Box
Directors: Denis Villeneuve, Writers: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green, Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME
A young Blade Runner, played by Ryan Gosling, discovers a secret about the relationship between Replicants and humans that leads him to track down a former Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for thirty years.
It is profoundly easy for films like "Blade Runner 2049" to collapse under the weight of their lofty ideals. Think back to the first time you saw "The Matrix." The concepts in that movie are heavy. They focus on a world unfamiliar to us, alternative realities, amazing attention to detail, and scenes that cannot be missed. For "Blade Runner 2049," the relationships are complicated, plots twist then turn, and every scene possesses something you need to know as the story progresses. When stories get this complicated, people can lose attention and grow frustrated. Something else can happen though, you can be swept away by their meticulous attention to detail.
Up front, you will notice some very unique things about this movie. It's setting is bleak, grand in its scope, and breathtaking to savor. Secondly, you will notice the soundtrack. In many ways, it is a character in this movie. It is pulsing, loud, hypnotic, and underscores every major discovery. Third, you will notice the cinematography. It is operatic in nature and so well devised that not since "The Matrix" have I seen anything that could compare. Finally, you will notice a storyline that builds off of the original movie while creating its own path. Together, all of these elements create a near perfect movie.
In Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, we find actors cut from the same cloth. For both actors, their faces have a way of mirroring what is happening on the screen. With Mr. Ford, we find an actor playing a role where he is in complete control. He knows this role and this world. Still, his best scenes arise when he is confronted with the truth of the relationship between the Replicants and humans. With Mr. Gosling, we find an actor discovering a new world and trying to come to terms with it. His best scenes in this film are when he is confronted with what we assume is the big reveal. His reaction much later to this idea seals his performance in the film.
"Blade Runner 2049" is the future of cinema. It's scale and depth is beyond comparison. What it demands of the audience is brave. Its ability to harness the latest technologies to create a world and a setting is inspiring and should stand the test of time. For these reasons and so much more, I cannot recommend this film enough. But do yourself a favor, see the original film first. There are so many important details you will need on your journey.
Be good to each other,