Blade Runner 2049: The Same, But Different!
***SPOILERS***YOU’VE BEEN WARNED***
Having recently gone to see Blade Runner 2049 all I can say is…I need to see it again.
The movie is fantastically shot, wonderfully scored, and the performances are top notch – just like its predecessor. Blade Runner 2049 is very much the same as the original film…and yet totally different. It is clearly from the same world, and yet it is a whole new take on it.
Being a big fan of the original, I was trying my best to pay attention to all the details of 2049 to see how it would compare. If there was one big difference I did find, it was that it seemed like the original had a much more “lived-in” look to it. With every frame of the 1982 version, there is some kind of visual detail to look at. There aren’t really any smooth surfaces. Everything has a feeling like it has already been there or been in use for over twenty years and is in need up an update or upgrade. Even the walls in Deckard’s apartment are full of lines, corners, cracks and detail. The use of shadows and playing with different light in Dr. Tyrell’s building keep the eye constantly moving. The smoke-filled room to start the film with Leon. The constant rain.
That degree of visual stimulation and detail wasn’t as high in 2049. Yes, many things are echoed; the mist at the farm, the reflection of the water at the Wallace building, the fog outside of the casino. However a lot (not all) of the sets were rather streamlined and clean. Lieutenant Joshi’s office was cluttered, yet smooth and well lit. The interior of the Wallace building was full of clean lines, and looked brand new. Even K’s apartment was rather sparse compared to Deckard’s.
Another thing that separates K’s world from Deckard’s is where the film actually takes place. In Deckard’s day, he was almost constantly surrounded by people. There was hustle and bustle everywhere. It seemed nearly impossible to escape, as the entire film takes place within the streets and city core. In 2049 however, we go outside of the city and get to see what else this world holds. We had green space (even though it was digital), snow, and sand. These were things we never saw in the first film. With these new settings, the world of Blade Runner is vastly opened up. And that’s a good thing. If K had spent the entire time in the streets, I would have wondered if Earth had become another Coruscant. (A city that spans the entire globe…Star Wars fans? Anyone?) I think I also would have been complaining they didn’t expand the world enough. This was a natural progression, and they did a good job of it.
There were several callbacks, references, and even a visual we saw from the original film contained within 2049. I’m sure its main goal was to help fill anyone in that had never seen Ridley Scott’s version. They were nice touches. While the run time is 2 hours and 44 minutes, there were never any times where it felt like it lagged. There was a lot to say here, and it’s nice they were able to take the time to tell the story they wanted. As mentioned, the music was very good, even though in my local theater many of the speakers rattled when the bass kicked in. Looking forward to hearing that again in a more controlled environment.
While we get to see what happened to Deckard and Rachael after the original, there are still some threads that exist after this one wrapped up. Wallace seems to avoid any serious harm, and what about the Replicant revolution that seemed to be amassing? Will there be a sequel to the sequel? This world has certainly been opened up where further additions to the story could be made.
Overall I enjoyed Blade Runner 2049. It was different from the first one, in a very organic and natural way. And I’m okay with that.
This will definitely be a Blu-Ray pickup!