BLADE RUNNER 2049 Spoiler-Free Review - How Does It Stack Up To Ridley Scott's Original?

BLADE RUNNER 2049 <font color=red>Spoiler-Free</font> Review - How Does It Stack Up To Ridley Scott's Original?

Blade Runner is widely considered a sci-fi masterpiece so the pressure is on Denis Villeneuve to deliver. The question is, does he? Hit the jump for our spoiler-free verdict on the anticipated sequel.

I've never been all that keen on Blade Runner. No matter how many cuts Ridley Scott has released, they've all fallen flat for me and while there's no denying it's an excellent sci-fi film which introduces some very clever and compelling ideas, it never had the impact on me it clearly did on those who are quick to hail it as one of the all-time greatest entries into the genre. Because of that, I went into Blade Runner 2049 with some trepidation but it took director Denis Villeneuve no time at all to make it clear that he's not simply following in the footsteps of a masterpiece; he's made a movie which truly is one. 

To divulge any plot details would spoil the experience but rest assured that the story serves as a fitting follow-up to what's come before while exploring another side of this world and opening it up in a way which will hopefully be followed somewhere down the line. If not, though, Blade Runner 2049 can definitely stand by itself as a truly great movie that delivers a thrilling detective story alongside some great twists and turns. Things play out slowly (the movie is over two and a half hours long) but Villeneuve's deliberate pacing is no bad thing and while he makes us wait a very long time to reunite with a familiar face, it ends up being worth it even if you'll almost certainly be disappointed by what little screentime Deckard gets. Simply put, this isn't his movie.

Instead, it's Ryan Gosling who takes the lead as K and he's superb from start to finish. Harrison Ford is good too but after seeing him play a grumpy and much older Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, what we get here doesn't feel all that different and Deckard wasn't fleshed out well 
enough to begin with for this return to have an impact anywhere near as significant. Jared Leto serves as Blade Runner 2049's villain but while he may have made an effort to don opaque contact lenses for the role, Wallace just isn't all that memorable, talking in riddles and not really saying all that much during his lengthy monologues. Despite that, he's good here but his screentime is far too limited for us to ever feel much toward him one way or the other; he's not a nice man and has bad intentions. It really is that straightforward. Arguably the movie's biggest breakouts, however, are Ana de Armas as Joi and Sylvia Hoeks as Luv. These two do great work with well written and interesting female characters and the former in particular feels like someone we'll be seeing much more of down the line.

Visually, Blade Runner 2049 is nothing short of stunning. The incredible visuals are bolstered by top-notch special effects and Villeneuve's movie both pays homage to the world Scott introduced us to and improves on it. The product placement is definitely distracting at times but that's Sony for you and it hardly ruins the movie. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch's score only adds to the overall impact of this amazing movie and regardless of whether you've seen the original, you'll walk out of this sequel very happy indeed because it is, at 
it's core, just a fantastic entry into the sci-fi genre.

A masterpiece pure and simple, Blade Runner 2049 does not disappoint and will keep hardcore fans and newcomers alike equally happy with what they're seeing.

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