Gonger Reviews: Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, Robin Wright, and Harrison Ford
Synopsis: Officer K has got those Blade Runner blues as he tackles love, life, and some of the meanest Replicants this side of Klanta! In the process of "retiring" a fugitive replicant, he unearths a troubling secret that threatens to tear the very fabric of an already delicate society. Dark and shadowy forces move in and he must ask himself "Can I be more human than human?" Oh, son! It's Blade Runner all right!!!
Let's break it down:
Costumes: Renee April embodies the style of the classic Blade Runner from 1982 but adds new flare to bring us a more modern fashion of the future. You think that a future-noir flick would have our players only wearing drab, dark trench coats and suits - which they do, because that's cool - but we also get vibrant colours that fit the bill perfectly. I only wish they came up with something better for Deckard to wear... 0.5/1
Set design: The very essence of this film is world building and the sets are incredible! Alessandra Querzola creates a tangible world that is wondrous but rooted. Well done! 1/1
Producing: The many producers on this flick really delivered here. This could have been a CGI mess but they spared no expense to give the actors and crew a massive sand box in which to play! I couldn't be happier for it. 1/1
Editing: Now I'm a stickler for run time as some of you know and clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes I got a little worried that we would get a convoluted mess of a movie with no point. Not here friends! It would seem Joe Walker has read my book, Gonger's Guide to Cinematic Excellence, and thrown it out the window! I actually thought it was a bit rushed in some parts! When you're given absolute gold to work with, though, it must come easy. The cuts in this flick where great and the flow worked. This just goes to show that you can have a long-ass movie without the BS filler. 0.5/1
Soundtrack: Hans Zimmer writes great scores but here is the thing: it's too safe. Don't get me wrong, I loved the ominous tones and it's in the wheel house for a Blade Runner but I felt it was missing something. It's the most Hollywood part of this flick and it would have been nice to let a new talent take the reigns. Might have been cool or a massive mistake but this film takes great risks at all times except here. The sound effects and mixing where spot on, my friends, and again helps with that world building quality. Hard one to rate and I hate to do it but... 0.5/2
Special Effects: Holy smokes! The future has never looked so good! The visual effects in this flick are mind altering and create this wicked techno nightmare of a world! The original Blade Runner was just a taste - here we get the full meal deal, toy included! It is important for a Blade Runner film to have a timeless quality and here they deliver tenfold! Fantastic! 1/1
Cinematography: To say Roger Deakins is a master is an understatement. His filmography is filled with great accomplishments but here we get a vision of true workmanship. His technique is legendary. his movement and framing capture the image completely. The flick has that neo-noir quality but it embodies new methods to give us a unique image. Jaw dropping really. 1/1
Writing: Hampton Fancher could have played it safe and rehashed old themes but instead he raises the stakes and, dare I say, blows the original out of the water! Michael Green also pens and although his filmography is spotted with train wrecks you get the sense this is the screenplay he was born to write. The script is smart and exciting which helps sell this thinker of a sci-fi. I love it. 1/1
Acting: First the bad - which I'm going to write off anyway, but it must be said! Harrison Ford blows it as Deckard. There is only one scene in which I really get some emotion out of him. It's a great scene, too, but he seems to be playing the same character in the past few movies he's been in. He is only in it for a bit, though - so who cares! Ryan Gosling brings the chops here as he is sympathetic and visceral. I'd say this is one of if not his best performances. My favourite one though is Sylvia Hoeks's Luv. She totally gets what kind of move is being made here and goes for it full throttle! I loved watching her tear up the screen. Guess what, bonus marks for showing your work! An extra 0.5! Ana de Armas gives us awesome exposition and has a very different character in which she plays with great care. Even Bautista, who has a small role, gives us that physical quality that we love but also that humanity that we cherish. He is becoming quite the thespian, if I dare say. From Robin Wright to Jared Leto, we get a great cast! 1/1
Directing: Denis my man, you did it! I know what happened here: he got up one morning, made a cup of coffee or whatever he likes, looked out his window in my direction and said "Al, I think I'll make a movie just for you." Thanks, bud. It's Christmas! This flick isn't just a great Blade Runner sequel, its a great science fiction. His film-making is powerful, every decision is a statement. He checks all the boxes, too, as a jack-of-all-directors from story telling, visual effects, character, and theme. I think all us Blade Runner-heads where skeptical when this thing was announced but once Villeneuve was attached, I know my skepticism cooled a bit and for good reason. The man gets it! 1.5/1 (Yeah, bonus grades all around!)
9/10 this movie is more movie than movie!
Allan Stringer @Gonger_Reviews
Allan Stringer (if that's his real name) hails from the Mutara Nebula and has travelled through space and time to check out the only thing us pathetic humans have to offer: movies. Marvel at his intelligence!