My washing machine just broke… However that has nothing to do with this review.
Written By: Rick Masters
Reviews are a difficult thing. They should never be the deciding factor of seeing a film but should give you an idea of what to expect. Yet expectations of a film can make a huge impact on your overall enjoyment. So when a movie is getting rave reviews, 5 stars everywhere and gushing recommendations from friends there is a real possibility your expectations may be proven wrong.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 has been receiving some of the best reviews I’ve read in a very long time with some calling it the greatest movie in decades. For me it’s good but not quite perfect. With that being said I would completely understand and respect anyone who thinks its a masterpiece. I have a mate who adores every single TRANSFORMERS movie… I mean, he is an idiot, but that’s exactly what makes movies such a wonderful and personal experience.
Firstly BLADE RUNNER 2049 is breath taking in its visuals. For me it’s easily the most standout element by far. Roger Deakins who is the mastermind behind the cinematography has absolutely blown me away with what he creates here. The use of light, shadow and a full spectrum of colour is used so incredibly well, creating a vast range of artistic scenes and sequences. You could literally pull any moment out of this film and it could be framed and placed on the wall as a stunning piece of artwork. Factor in one of the most impressive scores in recent memory from the almighty Hans Zimmer and you have a production over flowing with quality.
Director Denis Villeneuve weaves a pretty simply story which is smart enough to keep most engaged throughout its 163minute run-time. Every time you think it’s becoming predictable there’s another twist to keep the intrigue going. Even with the drawn out runtime it manages to keep you engrossed for the most part as the story takes its sweet sweet time to glide forward to its inevitable conclusion.
However it is the pacing that could make or break the film for most; much like the original the pacing is incredibly slow and almost every scene is drawn out with long pauses of silence to show off Villeneuve’s artful flair. The film could have chopped a good 30minutes off its run-time by simply removing scenes that had no purpose other than to look pretty (the bee hives are one example) yet they were impressive and most of us will no doubt appreciate them. Now I was fully prepared to be patient, I knew before heading in that it was a slow burner but there were moments I felt the amount of time it took to build tension and anticipation left us hanging for longer than necessary, especially in the middle act.
Performances wise almost all were top draw! Even Dave Bautista’s acting ability literally Batista bombed me into shook! Fantastic stuff from him and I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see more from the WWE wrestler. It’s also clear to see that the main part was written with Gosling in mind, he fit the role of ‘K’ brilliantly with his usual stone-faced and often emotionless persona. His love interest ‘Joi’ played by Ana de Armas was also superb.. You cant help but fall in love with her (which ironically is exactly what she was designed to do) however I cant help but feel her role wasn’t entirely needed. You could cut her entirely from the story and it wouldn’t have made that much of a difference on the overall narrative. With that being said I did really enjoy her scenes and they featured some of the most creative moments in the movie.
Good old Harrison Ford returns some 30 years later and does an impressive enough job throughout his surprising short amount of screen time… Only appearing late in the film. He prehaps didnt fall into his old role as Rick Deckard absolutely, giving me the impression he’d somewhat forgotten how to play Deckhard but he does a fine job nonetheless, especially in some of the more energetic scenes.
The only role that didn’t quite gel with me was that of Niander Wallace, played by Jared Leto. He annoyed me almost the instant he appeared on screen and in similar vain to his Joker role in SUICIDE SQUAD I always get the impression he’s trying too hard. I see him as an actor and never the character which may just be my issue but this is my review so bollocks to you Leto, stop appearing in my movies!
Blade Runner 2049 does what is almost impossible for most sequels to do now-a-days. It very naturally progresses a story while blending it beautifully with the style and tone of the original WHILE at the same time bringing it fully up-to-date with today’s cinematic standards. An incredibly hard thing to do. It is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen and for that and the pounding soundtrack alone it’s worth every penny of the ticket price.
Villeneuve has crafted something truly mesmerising here and although it does test some of the viewers patience levels at times (including mine) it’s all very much worth it in the end. As simple as the story is it really hits an emotional punch. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen this now and yet it’s still very much circling around in my head.
If you give this film your absolute attention (and find a comfy cushion for your arse) you will be simply blown away by this. If I had to put a movie forward to demonstate how how far with come with big screen entertainment… this would be it.
If you want to here an audio version of my review then be sure to check out my AFTER CREDITS review HERE