By Jacob McEvoy, Entertainment and science writer/worldwidehippies.com
Science fiction is one my all time favorite genres in almost any format. Whether its film, literature, games, or whatever. I am a die hard follower of this type of story telling. I’m sure if its more for the hypothetical futures presented or strange sociopolitical/ philosophical questions taken to dystopian extremes, or maybe the ideas of hypothesizing about what lurks in the dark realms of the universe yet to be explored. For whatever reason, I have always been drawn since a young age to science fiction.
Like a lot of you science fiction fans out there, one of my all time favorite films is Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic Blade Runner. This film was actually based on Philip K. Dick’s “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” where he explores the concept of artificial intelligence, the fate of the future, and ultimately what it means to be human. These themes have been both present in the book and in the film. Dick never wrote a sequel to his classic story, and Scott’s film adaptation was so awe-inspiring and such a cult classic that when I heard that there was a sequel in development I simply rolled my eyes.
In an age where the film industry seems to be spitting out so many sequels and reboots at increasingly lower standards of quality in order to make a quick buck, my expectations could not have been lower. Especially since Blade Runner is set up to be a stand alone film, why and how would anyone make a sequel worthy of this timeless classic. I had no idea what kind story could be told in a sequel or what kind of premise would another film be built upon. Yet, being a big fan of the original, I had to see Blade Runner 2049.
I have never been so blown away by a film so unexpectedly. My expectations were so wrong about this movie in almost every other way. I firmly believe that this is one of the greatest sequels to any movie ever made. Not only does Blade Runner 2049 live up to the original in terms of its ambitiousness, in many ways this film exceeds the original.
First of all, the cinematography is absolutely breath taking. The beauty of the retro-futuristic look of the original film is taken to the next level giving you a colorful yet similarly bleak view of what the future may hold for us. Every angle and every shot in this film is a treat, the colors are vibrant and the nature of the world is drawn out in absolutely every way. It still holds that classic look of the 1982 original, except genuinely improved upon. For whatever reason, despite how bleak, hopeless, and disturbing the world of Blade Runner is, I find myself wanting to live in and explore it. I genuinely want to know what its like to fly around in hover cars and see what the city of LA has to offer in 2049 and the look of this film stokes my curiosity.
The soundtrack is another reason this film is so mind blowing. That electronic, bluesy and synthetic droning that made the original one of the most memorable films ever is back and is taken to the next level. The soundtrack to this film is seriously one of the best soundtracks to any film I can remember. It fits so perfectly with the visuals and the story, drawing you into and immersing you into this strange world. It lulls you in and evokes your curiosity and perfectly represents the strange moodiness of the world and the story.
Which brings us to the next most important aspect to this masterpiece. The story. I really love that the advertisements I saw on TV didn’t give any indication of what the plot of this movie was going to be. I practically went into this movie as a blank slate, not knowing what to expect. I find that one of the reasons I am disappointed with movies today is that the ads for them spoil the film or set expectations that are too high or make me think that the movie is going to be something that it totally isn’t. All of these features can spoil and ruin a film, even if it is actually pretty good. That’s why its important to not spoil the plot in anyway. Go in knowing nothing. Another problem I find with films today is that a lot of times when Hollywood makes sequels or remakes to classic films is that they completely botch the whole point of the original. Often times turning a great film into a cheap action thriller that sets the series up for endless sequels to exploit your nostalgia for. This is why there hasn’t been a good terminator movie or why I never cared for any of the Jurassic Park sequels. They often miss the point of the original and don’t represent what the original masterpiece was truly going for.
This is where Blade Runner 2049 truly sets the standard for what a sequel should absolutely be. Though there is plenty of action and suspenseful sequences in this movie, this is not an action movie. So if cheesy sci-fi action, or Michael Bay explosions, or giant robots, or whatever, is what you are looking for. This isn’t the film for you. Just like the original, this is a moody, thought provoking, slow burning journey into what the future may hold. It takes all of the themes and concepts of the original Blade Runner and builds upon them. Taken them in new directions or flushing them out in a much more effective way. I must say, I don’t think that this movie is as mind blowing of an experience for me as the original was when I first saw it. I think that would be an almost impossible task. However I think that this is, from a technical and quality stand point, a far superior film to the original. The acting is absolutely top notch. Ryan Gosling nails his role as K and Harrison Ford returns to his roll as an aged Deckard for one of his best performance I’ve seen in years.
In conclusion, Blade Runner 2049 is an absolute modern masterpiece of science fiction. If you are a fan of the original then most likely you will be a fan of this one too. I highly recommend checking this one out and if it is in theaters again absolutely go see in in Imax.