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Here’s the rundown: ‘Blade Runner 2019’

“Blade Runner 2049” is the sequel to the 1982’s “Blade Runner” and stars Ryan Gosling as a Blade Runner. Blade Runners are a type of policeman who tracks down replicants, which are cyborgs that resemble people so closely that they have been made illegal to produce and all existing replicants are to be hunted down by Blade Runners.
Before going any further into this review, I need to make clear that most people who see this move will disagree with this review. I did not particularly enjoy the original film. However, I did not keep that in mind when I went into see this movie. Most people will consider this to be a brilliant film that is action-packed and exactly what cinema has been needing for a while. While I was bored out of my mind in this movie, I acknowledge that, visually, “Blade Runner” was a truly enjoyable movie.
The two best aspects of the movie are the visual effects and the setting. It has been a while since the visual effects of a movie have impressed me, but “Blade Runner 2049” really captures audience’s attention, making me harken back to the first time I saw “Star Wars.” It is the closest anyone will ever come, on a visual scale, to seeing the film version of the “Mona Lisa.”
Secondly, the world that “Blade Runner 2049” took place in was truly fascinating. It is the same world as the original, but the movie explored that world much more and expanded upon the environment than the original (which barely scratched the surface). “2049” explored the area outside of Los Angeles and the dystopian society it has become. Gosling’s character visits San Diego, now a boondock suburb of Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, which is now abandoned.
The scenes in Las Vegas may be some of the most visually beautiful scenes in recent cinematic history. For creative purposes, it’s refreshing that the movie does not set up for a sequel or the “Blade Runner Cinematic Universe,” however it leaves watchers craving the ability to witness other characters in this universe who do not directly connect to the characters of either movies. This universe was almost as interesting as Middle Earth and the “Star Wars” galaxies, partially because it takes place in our same universe, just in an alternate timeline.
“2049” also brought up some interesting new concepts. The character Joi is introduced, a hologram who is supposed to serve as a spouse to Gosling’s character. She cannot physically touch him since she is just concentrated light, and though she is an artificial intelligence, she clearly has non-articular romantic feelings for Gosling’s character. The movie also treats life on Earth as pointless, heavily implying that all who are able to leave Earth for another planet, should. The movie actually leaves the audience with a sense of wonderment for the future, both the in exciting technological possibilities as well as the darker future that may be in store.
Aside from the technical aspect of the movie, the acting was well done but nothing ground-breaking. As usual, Gosling doesn’t disappoint, but nothing about his acting or his character particularly stood out. However, he was virtually always on camera, and this causing viewers to be fatigued with his character. Harrison Ford, star of the original “Blade Runner,” felt somewhat shoehorned into the movie, showing up close to the end. He appeared to be an attempt to be a call back to the original film.
Two things that caused the film to suffer were its plot and running time. To be clear, this movie had a plot, but it was cryptic, leaving viewers confused while watching. Despite being moderately familiar with the overall idea of the story, even the biggest fan can be left baffled. If you are going into this movie without any preconceived notion of what it is about, you will be completely lost while watching this.
Furthermore, “2049” has a 163-minute run time. Normally, this would be OK as long as the audience is engaged with every scene. Unfortunately, by the time the movie was over, the confusing plotline and long runtime had me completely bored. While many science fiction movies suffer from too many action scenes, this movie desperately needed more. “2049” is the exact opposite of a “Transformers” movie. While “Transformers” has too much action, poorly developed characters and long drawn out battles, this movie had relatively unexciting action, over-developed characters and fight scenes that were over too quickly.
It’s hard to give an accurate star rating for this movie. If you’re a fan of non-“Star Wars” sci-fi, and you are a fan of the original “Blade Runner,” you will greatly enjoy this movie. If you’re going into this movie looking for an action sci-fi thriller, you will be thoroughly disappointed. The one critical thing about “2049” that was satisfying was that the great production almost overshadowed the faults.
“2049” likely going to be successful, which will hopefully encourage studios to stop making crappy big budget movies, instead focusing on works of art like this movie. I’d give “Blade Runner 2049” five stars out of five for the technical aspect, and a two of five for keeping me engaged as an audience member.

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