Blade Runner 2049: A Perfect Sequel


Julian Miranda

Blade Runner 2049 Visuals

Denis Villeneuve’s sci fi neo noir movie Blade Runner 2049 was released back in 2017. It was praised by critics, but just couldn’t make it in the box office. This was mostly due to poor marketing that made the movie seem like another cheap Hollywood remake, but the movie has however managed to maintain a cult following, which seems somewhat fitting considering the first movie had the same problem back when the original movie was released. The first Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott hit theaters in 1982 and had only gained notoriety in the years to come after the movie’s release. This isn’t for lack of trying or quality however it was simply due to the poor timing of the movies’ release date. The original Blade Runner had to compete with the likes of two other great sci fi movies E.T. and John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Profit may not have been the reason these movies were produced however. The original movie had beautiful cinematography and atmosphere and an intriguing plot that asked all sorts of questions about what it means to be human. The sequel however takes everything the original movie did great and cranks it up eleven.

The sequel however takes everything the original movie did great and cranks it up eleven.

— Julian Miranda

The film puts us in the shoes of “K” a “Blade Runner” who is played by Ryan Gosling. K works for the LAPD in a Dystopian Los Angeles in the year 2049. A Blade Runner’s job is to hunt down and “retire” “replicants” which are bio engineered humans created by the “Wallace Corporation” which are used as slave labor for space colonies. Some of these replicants make it back to earth and are extremely dangerous since they are usually out for revenge hence the Blade Runners. K is also a replicant and is aware of that fact and he’s also good at his job. After his job is done he comes home to his holographic girlfriend Joi who is played by Ana De Armas. Being bio engineered humans replicants aren’t able to reproduce but after K retires a replicant doctor he finds out that the doctor had actually helped in the birth of a replicant baby. This leads K on a mystery to find out who the baby is and who the parents are. Meanwhile the head of the “Wallace Corporation” Niander Wallace played by Jared Leto and his replicant assistant Luv played by Sylvia Hoeks also want to  find the baby so that Wallace can create more replicants that can reproduce so he can be revered as a god for creating his own species.

Denis Villeneuve absolutely nails the vision that Ridley Scott had for the original Blade Runner when it comes to his take on the dystopian LA setting.The original film had only touched on some of the details in the world that Blade Runner takes place in, but Denis takes the settings and completely expands on it. He does this by showing off more of the retro aesthetic technology that the people of the year 2049 use as well as some of the commodities and means of entertainment the people of Los Angeles use. By giving such detail to the world it makes it feel alive and doing this can make the viewer completely invested in this broken world. 

Not only was the setting a huge part of the original movie but the atmosphere the original movie conveyed was so beautiful and Denis takes this aspect of the original film and only makes it better. The combined cinematography of Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins makes this movie an absolute visual masterpiece. The sets combined with the color composition and lighting make every single scene in the movie pleasant and interesting to look at. Not only is each scene beautifully constructed but every detail of each scene is made with a purpose and has a meaning behind it. This attention to detail and eye catching visuals is what led the movie to win an Oscar for “Best Achievement in Cinematography”.

Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent example of what a sequel could be.

— Julian Miranda

Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent example of what a sequel could be. It accomplishes everything it sets out to do and more. The film expands on the questions and themes of humanity that the first movie asked and also stands on its own, asking its own brand of questions about what it means to be human. This review does not do the movie justice if you consider yourself a movie lover you are doing yourself a disservice by not watching this movie. The movie is a little harder to digest than your average blockbuster film but if you deem yourself a movie buff this film is a must watch. 10/10