35 years after its original, the Blade Runner sequel has become a reality for many film fans, and, fortunately, the director and his crew will be remembered and studied for their filmmaking mastery.
Quebec native Denis Villeneuve comes back to the big screen after his Oscar-nominated “Arrival” to direct “Blade Runner 2049,” Ridley Scott’s epic science-fiction noir.
Like the 1982 “Blade Runner,” this sequel will be revered for its cinema magic and how it transports the viewer into a gross, beautiful and futuristic Los Angeles. It’s one of the best sequels that not only builds upon the lore of the first film, but truly is a good film on its own.
Villeneuve, as a director, handled this opportunity carefully by hiring frequent collaborator Roger Deakins as his cinematographer. Deakins is a powerhouse in the cinema world, bringing films to life such as “The Shawshank Redemption,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Arrival.”“Blade Runner 2049” lets Deakins shine as an artist. He recreates the world that Scott thought up to the tee. It’s uncanny and mesmerizing to witness Ryan Gosling’s Agent K drive a hovering police car that flies right past a gargantuan hologram of Atari’s logo gleaming on a building.
The attention to detail in “Blade Runner 2049” is what has an audience in its grip. With a $185 million budget, Warner Brothers put a huge amount of trust in its handlers to make an explosion of success. Unfortunately, a domestic $12.7 million box office gain isn’t helping “Blade Runner 2049” during opening weekend.
A conclusion could be that the secrecy surrounding this particular film’s plot leads the public to believe that it isn’t worth it. Villeneuve explained this secrecy in an interview with Screen Rant.
“It is insane,” he said. “It’s like one of those movies that is designed in total secrecy. Like Star Wars movies or James Bond. The level, because of the pressure of the internet, if there is a little spoiler [and] it goes viral.”
Though there was a lack of plot information beforehand, the reality is that “Blade Runner 2049” is one of the most eye-gasmic films in recent memory; perhaps ever.
It offers so much more than a regular science fiction film or noir film. “Blade Runner 2049” offers the in-depth characterization of Agent K, like what is seen in the original with Deckard; the ins and outs of a person trying to find out what and who he is.
Yes, there is currently an influx of franchise movements. However, “Blade Runner 2049” makes it clear that this is a film that can stand on its own rather than be an extension of a series.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences needs to make it a mission to nominate “Blade Runner 2049” for best picture and definitely best cinematography. As important as he is, Deakins has been nominated 12 times and has not won any Oscars. There is a flaw in the Academy if he doesn’t win this year.
Make no mistake, as long as there are talented people managing a film with the intentions of creating an art piece for all kinds of people to enjoy, the film industry will continue to thrive. “Blade Runner 2049” is what the film world is created for: Beautiful, cool, thought-provoking craft.