Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to 1982’s Blade Runner, tells the story of a young “blade runner,” sort of a futuristic bounty hunter who is assigned to “retire” adroids called “Replicants,” searching for a former blade runner Rick Deckard, the protagonist of the original film, who had been missing for thirty years. Of course, one mystery from the original film presses through the sequel…is Deckard really a Replicant himself gone rouge, the very thing he once hunted?
BBC wants to answer the big question first and foremost: does it live up to the original?
“Denis Villeneuve’s shrewdly calculated sequel, Blade Runner 2049, tries hard to evade that tricky problem, with a busy, distracting surface that cloaks an enduring theme about humanity…The sequel borrows the golden-yellow palette for some scenes. Overall, cinematographer Roger Deakins and production designer Dennis Gassner create a grim, ashy-grey world. Villeneuve shot a great deal on sets and locations in Hungary. The film may not be heavy with CGI, but it looks as though it is. That’s not a bad way to depict a blighted future, but the design is never as engaging as the gloriously rich original.”
The New Yorker makes it clear that this Ridley Scott remake is a Villeneuve film
“Despite all the overlaps, this is not a simulacrum of a Ridley Scott film. It is unmistakably a Denis Villeneuve film, inviting us to tumble, tense with anticipation, into his doomy clutches. “Prisoners” (2013) was as welcoming as a dungeon, and, in “Blade Runner 2049,” the light is no longer, as Nabokov had it, “dreadfully distinct / Against the dark,” for the darkness has overcome it. San Diego is a waste dump, and Las Vegas lurks in a tangerine dream of radioactive smog. And yet, within the gloom, what miracles unfold. Brace yourself for the delivery of a new replicant, not born as a baby but slithering out from a plastic sheath as an instant adult, slimy with fabricated vernix and quaking at the shock of being alive. Suddenly, the lofty questions that swarm around artificial intelligence—Could the feelings familiar to mankind abound within the man-made? Could an operating system grow a soul?—reach a breathtaking consummation, and become flesh.”
The Guardian suggested that this could be the start of obscure sci-fi films getting a second chance at the cinema
“Given the glacial pace of Blade Runner’s development, it is also tempting to wonder how many other sci-fi bombs that have been languishing for years in relative ignominy might yet find traction in the not-so-distant future. The story of the futuristic noir’s slow rise to the cultural pinnacle suggests it can sometimes take a generation for studios to accept that opinion has changed; that there is suddenly a demand for fresh stories set in the same universe.”
IGN was interested in the original’s ‘Riddle of the Ages’: Is Deckard a ‘Replicant’ himself?
“It’s a question almost as old as the movie itself — is Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard actually a Replicant? Is the hunter also that which he hunts? The true nature of the Harrison Ford character has been shrouded in ambiguity for decades, a fact complicated by the multiple cuts of the 1982 classic film, the various, often contradictory quotes from the people who made the movie (including director Ridley Scott and Ford himself), and of course the very mindset of Blade Runner, which operates in that middle ground between mystery and revelation.”
CNN suggests that less is sometimes more with an ambitious film
CNET suggested that the film did its job in spite of any glitches
“Like the original “Blade Runner”, the sequel has its flaws. The original began with a human who we began to slowly doubt, giving rise to the age-old debate about whether Deckard was an android. By contrast the sequel makes clear from the start which of the major characters are replicants, and the experience suffers for that. In the first film you couldn’t help but sympathise just a little with the replicants even though they were killers, because they were raging against the limitations cruelly imposed on them by their capricious creators. In the world of the sequel, replicants freely wander the Earth with no worries about aging or death…Ultimately, though, this gobsmacking vision is just so beguiling I can’t help wanting to immerse myself inside it, flaws and all”