Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049: Feels like a Marathon

Blade Runner 2049: Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Sylvia Hoeks

Finally, the long wait is over! Rick Deckard is back on the big screen! The only price to pay is sitting through two-hours’ worth of moody Ryan Gosling shots to reach this point. Is it worth it? Not quite.

Officer K (Gosling) is a young blade runner who hunts old replicant models. One case leads K to a secret that has big implications for society.

As K digs deeper into the case, he follows a trail to Rick Deckard (Ford), a former blade runner.

Thirty-five years after director Ridley Scott’s acclaimed Blade Runner, established director Denis Villeneuve gives the sequel a strong production effort while revisiting the same questions.

However, the film is overbearingly long and surprisingly much duller than the original.

1982’s Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott underwent seven different cuts over the span of twenty-five years for the true message of the story to get across.

Out of all the different versions, The Final Cut is the definitive Blade Runner film; credited to director Ridley Scott having complete control.             

The original film is set in a futuristic Los Angeles, 2019, where there are hovering cars, technologically advanced citizens, and a ton of smog.

While setting the tone for sci-fi films to come, Blade Runner asked philosophical questions like what defines humanity, or what do memories really consist of?

Director Denis Villeneuve continues Scott’s tone and questions, but unfortunately tries a little too hard of being an arthouse blockbuster through its dragged-out scenes.

The sequel’s plot is fairly coherent, consisting of a cop who digs his way through a case that becomes much more jarring as the investigation continues.

 It is one we have all seen before, but what makes this unique is its over exaggerated look into the near future, where human life is an implanted memory.

In 2049, Officer K is one who struggles to find his identity, like Rick Deckard in the original.

Through his journey of self-discovery, K examines his memories to determine what qualities make for a human life.                 When considering the qualities of human life, it questions whether this life is worth living.

Yes, deep stuff

Its greater meaning and profound questions are apparent and applaudable.

The production efforts are worth noticing, considering the meticulous attention in detail from outfits to set design of this dystopian world.

However, the major issue which overcomes these aspects is its pacing.

Every scene is incredibly long and drawn out. There are too many instances of Officer K walking around in a fog or staring out in the open, where he should instead, just get to the point.

At a whopping two-hours and fifty-minutes, one may feel that they have aged to the year 2049 by the time it’s over.  

It can be said that this is a conscious effort by the director to provide enough time for the audience to fully digest the weighty questions of humanity.

However, Villeneuve can do this in the span of two-hours at the most.

If K’s moments of silence were cut shorter, there could be a real sense of urgency to make it much more exciting.

The importance of this sequel is undeniable. It asks the big questions with strong production efforts, while attempting to recreate the magic from Scott’s brilliant original.

These features make this an appreciable achievement in filmmaking.

On the other hand, if the movie clocks in at 2 hours and 50 minutes, there must be enough material to keep the audience engaged.

Unfortunately, this was an excruciating experience because of its pacing issues.

To get any sort of enjoyment out of 2049, one must see the original Blade Runner: The Final Cut beforehand.

Additionally, if viewers want to learn more about the meaning and making of the original version, they should check out On the Edge of Blade Runner, a documentary which can be found on YouTube.

When going to see 2049, it should, if possible, be watched in an IMAX movie theater because its colossal screen and booming sound bring out the best of this film.

If the audience member has not seen the original, they will most definitely dislike this sequel.

Although it is marketed to be an exciting sci-fi feature through the trailers, this is just a quiet sci-fi drama. It is painful to say this, considering the excitement I had to watch this feature. 2049 pays solid homage to the original, but fails to make it any more exciting or memorable.