Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 - Movie Review

The Movie: Blade Runner 2049

The Director: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

The Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, David Dastmalchian, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Lennie James, Carla Juri

The Story: A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.

The Review:
I'm glad that Denis Villeneuve was brought in to direct this movie. Visually, it is an absolutely stunning bit of film making with a lot of credit also being given to long time cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, Sicario). While this is, of course, Ridley Scott's baby, it wouldn't have been nearly as successful without the added expertise of the Villeneuve and Deakins. To me, the story was indulgent and excessive which is odd because nothing really happens. For a movie that is nearly three hours long, the same story could have been told in less than an hour without losing any impact whatsoever. I'm sure there's lots of allegory, nuance, and abstract story telling that should be mentioned or delved into but, honestly, I really didn't care to pay that much attention.

Every scene is drawn out as long as possible, I'm guessing to let the audience soak in the combination of visuals and accompanying soundtrack because there isn't much else going on and the actors don't have much to do either. That being said, there are some really brilliant moments where technology and talent are combined in some really innovative ways. I also feel like it's the supporting cast that carries the film as the stars are just sort of there because they are supposed to be. In brief appearances, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis, and Carla Juri are just freaking brilliant although, in a spoiler free review, I can't tell you why. Ana de Armas is also a pleasure to watch as an A.I. character who is probably more human than anyone else in the movie.

The Verdict:
Blade Runner 2049 is a long winded return to a dark and dreary version of the future we first saw come to life 35 years ago. If you choose to see this movie, definitely go to a premium format theater. The audio and video presentation at the Cinerama in downtown Seattle was absolutely fantastic and is the only thing that kept me from falling asleep.

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