Blade Runner 2049

So first of all, I am relatively new to the Blade Runner universe. I only saw the original just a mere day before I saw the sequel, and while it’s a worthy follow-up, it is a Denis Villenueve film more than anything else.

Unsurprisingly a powerful piece of personal perplexity. One of the most gorgeous movies I have ever had the pleasure seeing with such unmatchable scope, it felt like a museum that takes you a full week to explore and appreciate the grandeur. Immediately the stakes of learning Deckard’s identity is not at stake and is treated as prior knowledge. It is a mostly linearly structured, contemplative in nature, and probably conveys the slowest burn of any Villeneuve movie yet, and that really says something. Yet most of all, this is without a doubt a visual and tonal masterpiece of epic proportions. Villeneueve brings home the thrill of hypnotic mood and existential joys of self-reflection, as his slow-burn obsessions have never felt more SEEN. The film itself begins with a very long and detailed title card explaining all background exposition in case you did not see the original, followed by this amazingingly choreographed fight sequence with Dave Baustita in the vain of the opening sequence in Sicario. After that it slowsssssss wayyyy the hellll down, and things begin to get somewhat enigmatic.

We stay close with Gosling, going around finding clues about himself and a divulged secret regarding the replicants, following in his existential path to self-discovery and understanding his true identity. Questioning if his vivid memories he is experiencing are real or implanted. This is a moody, quiet, reflective and contemplative affair. First half is Under the Skin-in a sense with noir-esque elements embedded. This brooding reflection goes on for nearly an hour and a half though with no major action bumps along the way that may test the patience of unfamiliar mainstream audiences coming in for a sci-fi action blockbuster bonanza. There is also a cool and kinda weird throwback to the prostitute cyber sex scene in Her lol, but with a Blade Runner twist (Gosling’s is smitten for an A.I). Then after NEARLY two hours of running build up and teases, things begin action front of things. I must admit the payoff to the confrontation between Ford and Gosling DELIVERS and it makes for one of the most spectacular action set pieces I have ever seen. I am not spoiling anything here, so no worries, but after this point the movie becomes more than an intellectually stimulating exercise, abet slightly inaccessible somber sci-fi chamber piece.

Jared Leto is technically the villain, but he’s only in two or so scenes and just pulls the strings off-screen. Another actress is technically the chief antagonist and she’s a delight. My one major issue that could work this movie up another start rating upon first rewatches is a reveal towards the end that felt felt abrupt and unearned. For reasons I can divulge yet, it made it difficult to truly care and feel emotionally attached to its disclosure.

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