While its box office receipts will ultimately determine whether the studio thinks it is a success, the reviews for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 have been so positive that he will already be feeling rather proud of the film.
Critics have responded positively to Villeneuve’s poetic yet captivating approach to “Blade Runner 2049,” which is very much in the spirit of Ridley Scott’s work on the 1982 original. During the build-up to the film’s release, Villeneuve repeatedly made it clear he wanted it to have this style, even insisting that he didn’t want “Blade Runner 2049” to be “too Marvel.” I was intrigued by these remarks, and during my discussion with the filmmaker I asked him to expand on them.
“It was important at the beginning for me to make sure that we are in the same kind of universe as the one that Ridley Scott created. Because the way he explored violence and action was very mature and simple and intimate in the first film. The violence had more scope, and that was frightening for me, because I wanted to make sure it was in the mold of a ‘Blade Runner’ movie.
“So I tried to link the violence with an intimate point of view, and I tried to make it as grounded and visceral as possible. I tried to keep it on a human level’s point of view. I wanted my characters to do things that are realistic, and not fall into the superhero genre, like flying.”
In order to make sure that was the case, Denis Villeneuve actually had to make some changes to Hampton Fancher and Michael Green’s screenplay so that it synced with the original.
“There were things in the screenplay that I dimmed down to try and bring it to the original ‘Blade Runner.’ The thing I was really impressed by with the first movie was that it tried to be a sci-fi movie that was as realistic as possible, and I think that made the emotional journey of the movie stronger.”
The “Blade Runner 2049” Rotten Tomatoes score of 94% suggests that Villeneuve has achieved just that, especially as some critics have even gone as far as to suggest that it is one of the best sequels ever made.