Some people have waited 37 years for this film. Blade Runner has cemented itself as one of the most iconic science-fiction films ever made. However, the only question worth asking about the sequel is ‘Has the wait been worth it?’
And to that I say: no.
I won’t go into spoilers for those who actually want to see this film but we’re in familiar territory if you have seen the original.
Set 30-odd years after the events of Blade Runner, Ryan Gosling plays K, a Blade Runner who’s sent to capture/kill a rogue Nexus 8 Replicant played by Dave Bautista. While looking for him, K finds a box containing some bones. The contents will break down decades of ideas, beliefs and drive the entire plot.
That’s all I will say so to avoid important character reveals.
In terms of how the story was delivered, I found it to be overly long, vague and (at times) seemingly pointless. I understand this is the point of a neo noir film that relishes in only giving a fraction of the details to give the audience time to make their own mind up. I’m ready to accept that some people will love how this film moves at an iceberg style rate over a three hour run time, but I cannot stand how long it took to tell this story. In preparation for this review, I read the plot synopsis and found that more enjoyable than watching the film.
I like what happens but I don’t like how it’s delivered to us.
Cast and Characters
Across the board we have great performances. Ryan Gosling continues to prove that he’s one of the most versatile actors working today, Robin Wright as his boss is her commanding and terrifying self.
You all want to know about Harrison Ford and yes, he is indeed in the film. I think he’s just fine as Deckard, he didn’t give the best performance in the original and it’s the same story here.
To me, there is only one actor who stole the show and that’s Jared Leto as Niander Wallace. Leto has, once again, given a performance that some actors can only dream of. He’s only in a short number of scenes but such is his presence that you almost feel his influence in every other scene.
The actual characters are well developed and behave in believable, entertaining and intelligent ways, it’s hard to pick flaws in them.
Here is where I have to stand up and start clapping. It’s not even a question that this film is a technical marvel. While I don’t agree with the structural editing, and think the film is too long, I do believe that the momentary (in scene) editing is fantastic and Joe Walker is a shoo-in for Best Editing come award season.
Speaking of awards, there is one man who HAS to win for Best Cinematography and it’s long overdue. Roger Deakins has made one of the most visually beautiful films of all time. I could happily walk through a gallery made exclusively of stills from this film.
The soundtrack is by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch and is a love letter to the iconic Vangelis score. Powerful synths with delicate melodies fill the cinema and having seen the film in IMAX I can attest to my seat rumbling many times during the more intense cues.
While I recognise that this film is an impressive feat and not to be taken lightly, I found it really hard to get on board with this film due to its pacing even though I am a huge fan of both Blade Runner and sci-fi. I don’t have an issue with the length; two of my favourite films are over two hours long and I love every scene.
I feel like the ideas this film is trying to get across have been done better by various films in the time since the original Blade Runner. Ex Machina, Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Gattaca to name just three.
I’m prepared to be in the minority of people who think this film is just ok. If you disagree then please ,let’s have a reasonable conversation about this and don’t go all Rick and Morty fanbase on me.