Blade Runner 2049, the long-anticipated sequel to the 1982 cyberpunk classic, Blade Runner, is now in theaters.
Lovers of the original story are sure to enjoy the stunning computer generated imagery that is guaranteed to dazzle audience members into a science fiction haze.
The film follows the story of a Blade Runner and new model Replicant who simply goes by K. The film starts with him, hunting down an older model Replicant and then transitions into a completely different story.
For those who are not familiar with the story, here is what you need to know: Blade Runner 2049 takes place on Earth in the year 2049. The atmosphere is reflective of a dystopian environment that is populated by humans and super human-like androids called Replicants.
Older models of these Replicants do not follow orders as well as the newer improved versions; having wills of their own, and are thus hunted down to remove the threat of these dangerous beings becoming hostile. These hunters are called Blade Runners.
The original Blade Runner received mixed reviews at first, however, it quickly developed a cult following that was eager to get another movie in the franchise. This is due to the vague conclusion of the original.
While Blade Runner 2049 is connected to the original film, and there are many references to the original, fans do not need to know both movies to enjoy the film. 2049 does a very good job explaining the world and events of the first movie organically to make it feel like the viewer is not missing much.
“They definitely made the movie look like the Ridley Scott version,” said Brian Alexander, an avid fan of the original movie and cyberpunk in general. “But the story in 2049 goes in a completely different direction, so it’s definitely its own movie.”
Sadly, Blade Runner 2049 has less action than the original, since it is not really based on hunting, and relies more on mystery.
Also, the plot is intriguing regarding the potential and secrets of the Replicants, with K following a trail of clues as more and more of the world in this series is explored. The audience gets to learn more about these androids and how they fit into that world.
Thankfully, the movie is able to stand on it’s own, and does not waste time on reminiscing on old material from the 1982 film.
“Honestly, I can’t say which one is better. They’re so different that I like them both,” said Alexander.
That is not to say that the film is perfect. It is really enjoyable, but the film has a 163-minute runtime and rather slow pacing, which can make some parts of the movie drag on. Besides being slow, the pacing was also a little odd, with what felt like multiple climaxes.
This movie might not exactly be a hit for viewers who want a fast-paced action flick, or just want something to watch casually. It is a subtle film that expects the viewer to pay attention and follow its twisting and turning storyline, while waiting through long, tense scenes.
Many of these scenes are quiet and contemplative with organic visual storytelling, but if viewers want a quick action sci-fi film akin to something like Star Wars, they should look elsewhere.
The film has had a rocky start, falling below expectations at the box office, and not receiving the much deserved acclaim. However, it still finished first on its opening weekend, and currently holds an 88 percent approval rating on the review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.
However, whether the viewer has seen the original film or not, Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent film for those who enjoy thriller, suspense, and science fiction films.