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Blade Runner 2049

Dane Dorius, Reviews Editor

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     When I first heard of Blade Runner 2049, I was disappointed. Thirty-five years after a cult classic comes out, a big-budget sequel comes out, and Harrison Ford’s still going to be in it? As more details came out, with the director’s movie Sicario getting nigh-universal acclaim and my eternal man-crush Ryan Gosling leading it, I began to get a little hopeful. After I saw the director’s next movie, Arrival, I was hyped. Arrival isn’t what’s being reviewed, but suffice it to say that it showed me that Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins could handle the heady themes, memorable imagery, and beautiful camerawork needed to handle Blade Runner with dignity.

     After having seen the movie twice, once in 3D in Altuna and once in 2D here in the Cinemark, I can tell you that Blade Runner completely blew me away and is one of the best sequels I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is beautiful- every frame feels like it could be framed. The narrative acknowledges the original and its themes, but it takes a different bent to them and the story itself is original. Harrison Ford’s presence in the story makes sense and he doesn’t feel shoved in there for fanservice. The performances are all fantastic, with Ryan Gosling’s being especially memorable. Like in Drive, he does spend some time in this movie staring into the camera, but he’s able to convey surprisingly specific and complex emotions with them.

     This movie is a sequel- I’d recommend watching the original movie first, but that’s a surprisingly complex ordeal, since it has no less than five different cuts floating around. Take it from me, watch The Final Cut (which is on Amazon’s instant streaming service), and don’t worry too much. 2049 is its own story, but it still borrows heavily from the original in themes and images.

     Despite all of this praise, this movie isn’t for everybody. The trailers show almost every single action sequence in the movie, and it’s two-and-three-quarters hours long. The movie doesn’t feel that long, being infinitely better-paced than the original, but it’s still largely focused on dialogue and showing the world. It’s easily one of the most beautiful movies of the year, it’s got a ton of fantastic ideas and questions, and one particular scene involving a hologram is one of the most creative scenes I’ve ever seen. Go watch this movie when it comes onto Redbox and Amazon Prime, because it’s not gonna be in theaters by the time you’re reading this, judging by its box office returns.

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Blade Runner 2049