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Blade Runner 2049 is so close to being a masterpiece

The dazzling sequel lets itself down in its final act, though
Ryan Gosling as Officer K
Photo: Alcon Entertainment

‘Blade Runner 2049’

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista.

Rating: R

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4 (Out of 5) Globes

Plot: Set 30 years after the original film, “Blade Runner 2049” revolves around LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), who makes a discovery that could bring an end to all of humanity. Officer K is entrusted by his superior Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) to find the individual, but during his journey he discovers Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who disappeared three decades earlier. 

Review: For so long “Blade Runner 2049” is simply a marvel. The combination of Denis Villeneuve’s gentle, elegant visuals, Roger Deakins’ mesmeric and beautiful cinematography, and Ryan Goslings’ intense, layered, and always cool performance makes wallowing in “Blade Runner 2049” a dazzling and enthralling experience.

Hampton Fancher and Michael Green’s script delves right into the themes and questions that has made the original so revered and debated for so long, too, but rather than being overly beholden to its predecessor it immediately, but subtly, expands the world, while unraveling its mysterious and meandering plot in a surprising and refreshingly forthright manner.

On the top of the aforementioned, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score gives the film a rhythm that keeps you entranced, while the vastness and richness of its set-designs mean you’re constantly moving your gaze to try and take in as much as possible.

This combination of imperious talent all working to the best of their ability means that “Blade Runner 2049” is actually an anti-auteur film, and while Denis Villeneuve will undoubtedly be the one labored with all the acclaim, the detail, precision, and beauty of the work from every other member of its cast and crew should be lauded just as much.

But, despite everything that’s so exquisite and impressive about “Blade Runner 2049”, its third act problems (a worrying trait in Villeneuve’s oeuvre) nearly derail a film that is oh so close to being a masterpiece. With its conclusion, “Blade Runner 2049” seemingly forgets that it is 2 hours and 43 minutes long, as it rushes and leaves gaps that needed to be covered, and just isn’t as smooth or satisfying as you expect it to be.

They’re forgivable flaws, and don’t take away from the utter majesty that has preceded it, but they do stop it from reaching an upper echelon. There’s a good chance that these issues will smooth out with repeated viewings, though, and, like the original, “Blade Runner 2049” is likely to become even more appreciated over time. If that's the case, then it turns out that sometimes they really do make them like they used to. 

 
 
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