We live in an era of reboots and predecessor movies. Nowadays the studios have great success with re-interpretations of known stories. If we look back in history there are only a few examples where part two outperforms the original. Mostly a few triologies like the classic Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Back to the Future marks an exception.
In these movies I never have the feeling of an non-essential addition or iteration in the follow-on parts. Every part shines on it’s on. Reboots are special in it’s own way. There are some popular brands from the past like Batman, Ghostbusters or Star Trek. We all love the original films with thier unique touch, but the reboots works only in rarely cases. In some cases the story itself isn’t the main problem. In some cases the originals doesn’t answer all the questions. But that’s not a bad thing and an open mistery for a few movies. And that’s also the case for the original Blade Runner back in 1982. The main story of Blade Runner tells us the story about officer Rick Deckard, an ex-cop and a so-called “Blade Runner”. Blade runners are people assigned to assassinate “replicants”. The replicants are androids that look like real human beings. These replicants commit a bloody mutiny on the Off World colony. So Deckard was called out of retirement to track down these androids. It’s all about the question: What’s the different between replicants and real humans?
The original movie becomes success only years later but nowadays Blade Runner was called as one of the revolutionary sci-fi movies in history. It’s a masterpiece from the past. The combination between screenplay, acting and atmosphere was outstanding from that period. For me, one of the most impressing elements is the camera work. It is very prominent in the last section of the movie where the lighting and shadow effects sets new standards. I’m very sceptical about a predecessor first because I believe that a follow on movie ruined the original.
The truth is, Blade Runner 2049 is a very good sequel and that’s because director Denis Villeneuve looks at every detail of the original. It takes place in the dark and rainy Los Angeles where officer K (Ryan Gosling) discovers the remains of a once-pregnant replicant. Finally K goes on to find former Blade Runner Deckard (Harrison Ford) to receive more information about his past. To prevent a possible war between replicants and humans, K is secretly tasked with finding the child and destroying all evidence related to it. Blade Runner 2049 is far away to described as a classical Hollywood movie. For me it’s clear why it’s not a post office hit: All scenes are relevant and full of so many fine details. This fact leads to an extraordinary runtime around 160 minutes. That’s definitely not a typically blockbuster runtime. The acting between Gosling and Ford works perfectly. Also Jared Leto as Niander Wallace convinced. I’m not a big sci-fi specialist but the ability to creates something new without ruin the original is by far a success. Blade Runner 2049 takes his time, builds a great story and delivers a unique atmopshere. That’s also because the compossed soundtrack by Hans Zimmer fits perfect in almost every scene. But that’s one of my few criticism. Originally composer Jóhann Jóhannsson should compose the movie soundtrack, but weeks before the completion Jóhannsson leaves the project. I really loves the renewed Blade Runner theme from the trailer, but it doesn’t appears in the movie itself.
Conclusion: Blade Runner 2049 is modern sci-fi movie packed with great elements from the past. To reconstruct all details of the original movie it makes definitely sense to watch the prequel again until you watched the new one. Of course the main story of Blade Runner delivers enough stuff to create a great movie but this fact doesn’t decrease the success by Villeneuve. Nowadays it is very difficult to convince the audience only by great acting, a good story or a unique atmosphere but in this case Blade Runner 2049 is a silent hit. One of the best sci-fi movies in 2017. I’m really impressed!