Sunday, November 5, 2017
Blade Runner 2049
★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've seen C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
Those immortal words uttered by Rutger Hauer in the 1982 sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner have stuck with pop culture through 35 years & 7 different cuts of the film (2007's The Final Cut being the definitive version). Those words have made us wonder what it truly means to be human.
And now, 35 years later, the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, has arrived. This was one of my most highly anticipated films of the year, because of the expectations set by the first film, aling with the people involved in the film.
And it destroyed those expectations, & ends up as the best film of the year so far. Set in 2049 Los Angeles, the film focuses on Officer K (played by Ryan Gosling), an officer sent to retire (kill) replicants. The name for his occupation is still "blade runner." K lives with his female companion, Joi (played by Ana de Armas).
After an encounter with Nexus-8 replicant Sapper Morton (played by Dave Bautista), K returns to the police headquarters & meets with Lt. Joshi (played by Robin Wright) over a box found at Sapper's farm. Lt. Joshi tells K to destroy the box, fearful that if the contents of the box are revealed, a war will occur.
K eventually encounters ruthless Wallace Corporation CEO Niander Wallace (played by Jared Leto) & his assistant, Luv (played by Sylvia Hoeks), who find out about the contents of the box. Eventually, K is led on a journey to protect the remains of the box, encountering replicant designer Dr. Ana Stelline (played by Carla Juri), orphanage leader Mr. Cotton (played by Lennie James), & prostitute Mariette (played by Mackenzie Davis), but his journey will lead him to an even more important person, former blade runner Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford).
The cast is amazing. Gosling gives one of his best performances. Ford gives his best performance yet. Leto does an excellent job. But the best performances come from Sylvia Hoeks, Ana de Armas, & Mackenzie Davis. They manage to steal every single scene they're in.
Denis Villeneuve's direction is spectacular. Villeneuve, who in my opinion is the greatest director in film at the moment, has taken on a world that was already great to begin with & made it better, permeating the film with such a tense atmopshere.
The screenplay by Hampton Fancher & Michael Green is excellent. The plot is so intricately created, like a puzzle where even 1 missing piece will not show any part of the big picture.
No words can describe Roger Deakins's cinematography. Every shot is like a majestic mural just waiting for people to willingly gaze at it for ages. This is some of the best cinematography in film history.
Joe Walker's editing is excellent. It's definitely slow, but that's a great thing about this film. It's unconventionally paced. It makes you wait for the revelations of the plot.
Renée April's costume design is amazing. The futuristic costumes are beautiful to look at & are definitely immersive.
Dennis Gassner's production design is nothing short of breathtaking. The futuristic buildings with the big neon lights are just a part of what makes the set so immersive.
The makeup & hairstyling is amazing. Many of the amazing characters are enhanced even more by the futuristic makeup & hairstyling.
The sound design is absolutely impeccable. It ranges from loud & bombastic to quiet & calm, & it's such a pleasant thing to hear.
The score by Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch is absolutely fantastic. This is arguably their best score yet. The music provokes so many emotions through its excellent use of synthesizers.
And the visual effects are nothing short of spectacular. This is some of the best CGI in film history, & the effects become a character themselves because of their immersive scale.
This is not only the best film of the year so far, but it's the best sci-fi film I've ever seen, & the best sequel I've ever seen, managing to improve on the original, which is a masterpiece in its own right. This was definitely a theatrical experience I don't witness that much, & I'm glad I did.
Blade Runner 2049 was seen by me at the MJR Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, MI on Friday, October 6, 2017. It is in theaters everywhere. Its runtime is 164 minutes, & it is rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity & language.