REPLICANTS ARE BIOENGINEERED HUMANS. DESIGNED BY TYRELL CORPORATION FOR USE OFF-WORLD. THEIR ENHANCED STRENGTH MADE THEM IDEAL SLAVE LABOR
THEY ARE HUNTED DOWN AND 'RETIRED'
THOSE THAT HUNT THEM STILL GO BY THE NAME
So reads, in part, the opening text to the Blade Runner sequel 35 years in the making. Blade Runner 2049 follows a new generation of Blade Runner (Ryan Gosling), tasked with the same mission, "retiring" replicants. With a 2:44 running time and a meticulous pace, the film can feel slow to start. However, the plot is initiated from the very first scene, and while you may not be able to tell where you are headed, I was blown away by the end. After slowly easing you into its world, 2049 gradually and methodically sinks its hooks into you.
As a sequel, this manages to take things people connected with from the first film, like the futuristic setting and the philosophical musings on the nature of life, and let them develop and evolve naturally while also advancing the series mythology and taking narrative risks with a spider web of motivations, mystery and deceit. This is the rare sequel that establishes a feeling of familiarity while also pushing forward in bold and exciting ways that make the experience feel new and unpredictable.
Visually, the movie is stunning.
There is nary a single shot that doesn't impress in some way and I was absolutely blown away by the imagery. Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford are great as the titular Blade Runners, and the cast is highlighted by a string of terrific supporting performances from Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto. The soundtrack is tense and hypnotic.
Highly recommended and an absolute must-see if you enjoyed the original.