REVIEW: Does The New Blade Runner Live Up To The Original?

There’s a particular line from the original Blade Runner from 1982 which every fan will know. Of course, I’m referring to Roy Baty’s short speech towards the end of the movie, that begins with “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe”, and now I can really relate to that statement. The thing, in this respect, is Blade Runner 2049, a sequel that no one really asked for, and really had no right to exist, but has been in production for the last two years and has now come storming into theatres. And I honestly don’t believe it, and I relay that same message onto you also, as I have seen something that you truly won’t believe until you see it yourself.

 

As someone who loves movies and especially the genre of science fiction, the original Blade Runner is my favourite sci-fi film of all time, and one of my favourites in the art form in general. When I first heard news of a sequel, I looked to the guy shaking my fist cursing every higher power there is or could be. Why take a film with such a cult following, such infinite influence and now such critical acclaim, and revive it with a continuation of the story? One of the best parts about Blade Runner was the ambiguity behind it all. Time went by, cast members were announced. Dave Bautista, Jared Leto. We could certainly do better. Harrison Ford is reprising his role as Rick Deckard, now it’s getting interesting. Ryan Gosling confirmed to star and Denis Villeneuve directing. You now have my full undivided attention.

 

Anyone who knows me can tell you what I think about Denis Villeneuve. He is my current favourite filmmaker, and in my opinion a modern-day prodigy, much like Spielberg when he first rose to fame in the 70s. So far everything that Villeneuve has touched has turned to gold. Incendies, Enemy, Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival, all magnificent films and the last being one of my favourites of 2016. The story is no different here, as Villeneuve has crafted a modern-day science fiction masterpiece so grand, it feels as if you are watching an epic unfold. Every single thing that went into making this film is near inch perfect. The directing, cinematography, soundtrack, the cast and the set design all feel as a modern-day Blade Runner movie should feel.

 

My aim with this review is not to explain little details and dish out praise and criticism, as the reason this movie works so well is because of all the little parts put together with such care and perfection. My advice to you is that if you are a science fiction fan, first of all watch the original Blade Runner, and then go out and watch this sequel. If you are a fan of the original, this should go down as an absolute treat, as it does exactly what a sequel is supposed to do, as it expands on the universe and tells a story worth telling, a story relevant to the first film and not at all out of nowhere in this vast sci-fi world. However, if you are not a fan of science fiction or the original movie in particular, you may not have quite the same experience as I did.

 

As visually stunning as its 1982 predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel that sci-fi fans deserve and rarely ever get. Visually stunning and emotionally compelling, director Denis Villeneuve has crafted a modern-day masterpiece that deserves to be seen by all, and still asks the vital question that was asked in the original: what does it mean to be human?

 

Verdict: 10/10

Joe Paolella

Twenty-two year old musician and self proclaimed movie buff. My aim is to get you to see what I think is the bigger picture mainly regarding music and film, with the occasional rant about day-to-day life. I've been told I'm a friendly, likable guy who is pleasantly opinionated. Don't believe any of that though.

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