Blade Runner 2049: a modern masterpiece

Tyler Manning

Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Tyler Manning

Blade Runner 2049” is a film that I have wanted to see ever since its announcement. With brilliant auteur Denis Villeneuve at the helm and one of my favorite modern actors, Ryan Gosling, set to star in the movie, I could not help but get excited. With so much anticipation for this film, there was a lot at stake for me seeing it. However, I am eternally glad I was able to witness this movie. “Blade Runner 2049” is not only one of the best sequels ever made, but the most visually beautiful movie I have ever seen.

The sheer amount of spectacle and epic world building is hard not to get utterly lost in. The first Blade Runner is known for its iconic world of a futuristic and dirty Los Angeles and has become ingrained in modern pop culture. Seeing this again updated with modern special effects was not only welcoming but refreshing. “Blade Runner 2049” manages to be consistent with the world of the previous film while also expanding and enhancing it even further. The sets are beautiful and epic, the cinematography and direction are breathtaking and each frame is incredibly intricate and well-designed. It is hard not to invest yourself in this world.

Villeneuve ensures that the audience does not too get lost in the spectacle, however, and focuses the story on Ryan Gosling’s character, K. K is part of a special unit of the police, referred to as Blade Runners. Androids, also known as replicants, are outlawed in this universe and it is the job of Blade Runners to kill or “retire” them. After what seems like a routine “retiring” of a replicant, K learns new information that could change the world and is tasked with keeping that information a secret.

Gosling had already solidified himself as one of my favorite actors. He is charismatic, funny and gives genuinely good performances — and this film is no exception. He fits perfectly into the world of Blade Runner and manages to not get overshadowed by the immense spectacle of the film. His character is well-written and has a touching arc that fits perfectly with the film’s theme of self identity.

It is also noteworthy to mention that every other actor does incredibly well in this film. Everyone fits their roles smoothly and gives great performances.

On a technical level, I cannot find a single flaw in “Blade Runner 2049.” This is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. There is a great amount of craftsmanship that went into making this movie look beautiful. This film features some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. The color grading, camera angles and lighting are all perfectly executed in a way that is not distracting, rather beautifully enhances the quality of the film making.

The sound is also brilliant. The sound design is fantastic. Blade Runner’s world has a distinct sound to it. Cars, guns, the city all have distinguishable, unique sounds to them that have grit and realism. The score is equally fantastic. With much of the film not including background score at all, when it is present, it gives emotion to the scene. It is hard to compete with the original Blade Runner because that score is one of the best of all time, but the score in the sequel meets the standard well.

I do not have a single bad thing to say about this movie. It is exactly why I love film. It pushes the boundaries of what is capable of being filmed. It is not a shrill, passionless money-grab, rather it is a piece of art that I highly recommend everyone seeing.

Rating: 10/10

Out in local theaters

Blade Runner 2049