According to critics Blade Runner 2049, lives up to all the hype and potentially exceeds the original Blade Runner…
Leading critics are seemingly all in agreement that the sequel achieves success in continuing the original source material, while managing to develop it into a modern, or futuristic in this case, beautifully shot, and well-acted film.
Check out some of the review highlights below.
Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly)
“Villeneuve, one of the few filmmakers working today for whom the word auteu rdoesn’t sound like an unearned affectation, may have fallen a little too in love with his own creation; at two hours and 40 minutes, aesthetic shock and awe eventually outpace the narrative. But how could he not, when nearly every impeccably composed shot — a surreal six-handed love scene; a shimmering hologram of Elvis, hip-swiveling into eternity; a ‘newborn’ replicant, slick with amniotic goo — feels like such a ravishing visual feast? Even when its emotions risk running as cool as its palette, 2049 reaches for, and finds, something remarkable: the elevation of mainstream moviemaking to high art.”
Peter Debruge (Variety)
“Sure as it is to delight Blade Runner fans, this stunningly elegant follow-up doesn’t depend on having seen the original — and like 2010’s Tron: Legacy, may actually play better to those who aren’t wedded to the franchise’s muddled off-screen mythology. As it happens, in both tone and style, the new film owes more to slow-cinema maestro Andrei Tarkovsky than it does to Scott’s revolutionary cyberpunk sensibility. In fact, at 2 hours and 44 minutes, Blade Runner 2049 clocks in at three minutes longer than the austere Russian auteur’s Stalker. But Villeneuve earns every second of that running time, delivering a visually breathtaking, long-fuse action movie whose unconventional thrills could be described as many things — from tantalizing to tedious — but never ‘artificially intelligent.'”
Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Everyone involved in this imposing enterprise has clearly dug deep to be both true to the original and come up with sharp ideas to create something more than a retread. Although the action scenes here are often brutal and Hoeks supplies her vicious character with some unexpected emotional shading, no replicant warriors in Blade Runner 2049 can measure up to those played by Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah in the first one. Leto achieves the desired weirdness level as the corporate genius behind the upgraded replicants, while Wright is all business as a top cop.”
Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
Outside Star Wars, no sci-fi universe has been etched into cinematic consciousness more thoroughly than Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s definitive 1982 neo-noir offered an immersive dystopia of rain-soaked windows and shadowy buildings adorned with animated neon billboards, where flying cars hum through the endless night. That cyberpunk vision remains just as alluring 35 years later, and Blade Runner 2049 could have merely roamed those streets with the same chiaroscuro imagery and delivered a satisfying taste of the same familiar drug. Instead, director Denis Villeneuve goes beyond the call of duty, with a lush, often mind-blowing refurbishing of the original sci-fi aesthetic that delves into its complex epistemological themes just as much as it resurrects an enduring spectacle.”
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
“The new Blade Runner amazes because every aspect is top notch: Hampton Fancher’s story is surprisingly emotional, Benjamin Wallfisch and Han Zimmer’s pounding soundtrack is just as integral as Vangelis’ ethereal original score, and cinematographer Roger Deakins will get his first Oscar if there’s any justice. The sequel takes the futuristic action out of L.A., into the literal dump that is San Diego and Las Vegas’ radioactive wasteland, and the stunning visuals add to the enjoyably visceral experience.”
Written: JW, Editor