Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is like staying up all night to finish a 150,000-word fanfic that you started reading, thought was good but not great, and then just kept reading because you’d committed to it, goddammit. And then the next morning, as you struggle bleary-eyed through the work day, you keep wondering if it was worth it.

While watching Blade Runner 2049, I kept thinking about the first time I saw the original Blade Runner. It was in high school and it was shown as part of our film club, which was really just an excuse to eat food and watch movies in a classroom. After the movie, the room full of high schoolers was completely split in two: half the class loved the movie and the other half thought it was ridiculous and pretentious. Blade Runner 2049 recaptures that divisiveness perfectly.

Blade Runner 2049

Starring: Ana de Armas, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Edward James Olmos, Elarica Gallacher, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Lennie James, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Arnold, Robin Wright, Ryan Gosling, Sylvia Hoeks, Tómas Lemarquis, Vilma Szécsi, Wood Harris

Summary: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Blade Runner 2049 Full Movie

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rating: R
Runtime: 163 min

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Rating: R (for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language)

Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

Written By: Michael Green, Hampton Fancher

In Theaters: Oct 6, 2017  Wide

Runtime: 117 minutes

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s been 35 years since Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner hit theaters, and when it takes this long for a sequel to roll around, a few questions need to be answered. No question is more important than “why?” Yes, we’re in a cultural moment where nearly everything is a sequel, prequel, reboot, or spinoff, but Scott’s dystopian film never organically called for a follow-up the way some films do. It’s a neo-noir thriller with an open ending, but from a character and thematic perspective, Scott neatly sewed up the story. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), an android hunter known as a “blade runner,” learns that all life has some sort of value. Tired of killing others, he decides to go on the run with his android lover Rachel (Sean Young).

That leaves Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 with a pretty steep hill to climb. The sequel has to live up to the unforgettable visual style of Scott’s film, while simultaneously forging its own identity, and defending its reason for existing in the first place. Turnkey action sequels are fine for comic book movies, but a distinctive classic like Blade Runner demands an entirely different standard.

The good news is that Villeneuve’s film is every bit the original’s equal when it comes to breathtaking visuals and design, and Ryan Gosling is perfectly cast as K, the newest blade runner on the hunt for renegade “skin jobs.” The film ultimately doesn’t have the resonance and pure invention of the original, and over its nearly three-hour run time, that becomes increasingly clear. But it’s certainly not for lack of trying.

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