Blade runner 2049 is possibly one of the best sequels ever produced and is going to be the best film of 2017. While also being a movie that did not need to have been made in the first place.
Now to get this right off the bat, I am grateful that this movie exists in the first place. Denis Villeneuve has somehow managed to create a sequel to Blade Runner that is not a total disaster piece, and it was produced by Sony. How on earth does someone make a movie backed by Sony of all people good. Not just a standalone, but a direct sequel to what is considered ,to many, a masterpiece. You have to understand that I went into the cinema with expectations as high as they have ever been. My love for every cut of Blade Runner (except the theatrical) is well known to those who know me, and a common catchphrase of mine apart from “please swipe right” is “have you seen Blade Runner”. Those first day reviews were good enough to convince a puritan to take a trip to the pictures. I usually hate movie sequels or anything made by Sony’s movie department in general, yet this film has not only met my expectations but also blew right above them.
The reason I am making this article is to ,not harp on about how Blade Runner 2049 is the best movie I have seen in a long time, but to address how it is a great sequel – yet not a needed one. As Ben Yahtzee Crowshaw of the Escapist put it
A good sequel is one that sees the original as a jumping-off point, something to build on, rather than one that merely wallows in the original and “pays respect.”
With this in mind Blade Runner 2049 is indeed a good sequel. Although it explores similar themes of humanity and isolation it also explores deeper into new territories of identity and virtual love. Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner is about a broken man regaining his humanity whilst the sequel is about K (Ryan Gosling) finding out what makes someone “special” or if said humanity is even important in the first place (among many other themes.) Both feel and look similar to each other but take different paths and more importantly, can be enjoyed as movies on their own.
This is not to say that Blade Runner 2049 is a soft reboot or reboot of any kind. It is a direct continuation of the events of the original Blade Runner that focuses on a different story line with some returning characters. Although, one does not need to see the original Blade runner to enjoy 2049 it will leave newcomers slightly confused and bewildered at points, but not enough ,as to say, ruin the enjoyment of the film. It is a breath of fresh air to have a sequel be an actual sequel nowadays unlike say Star Wars 7 (The Force Awakens) which entirely relies and is even a carbon copy of it’s predecessor.
What makes Blade Runner 2049 one of the best sequels is that it expands and even improves things that were addressed in the original. The original ,for all I love it, had many problems such as some excruciatingly boring scenes, some lackluster performances and a severe lack of detective work by our protagonist. Blade Runner 2049 has some poor writing in places and although visually stunning ,cannot beat the practical sets of Blade Runner ,yet improves upon said negatives and uses the world of it’s predecessor not to wallow and make reference in (Terminator Salvation is a prime example) but, to instead launch off into new horizons. A great sequel is one that those who had distaste for the original ,can enjoy, which Blade Runner 2049 fully manages.
Although, even with the stellar reviews from critics and audience members alike 2049 is unfortunately still performing poorly (in big budget Hollywood terms) and this is due to a number of factors which, I believe the biggest one is the fact that the original Blade Runner (not theatrical) ends perfectly. The ending wraps up everything that needed to be and leaves almost all viewers satisfied. Not only that, but Blade Runner is the type of film that even for real die hard fans would hurt from having a sequel – due to it’s ambiguity. 2049 does a great job of keeping said ambiguity as to not dampen the effect of the original but is still a sequel to a movie that dose not need one.
An unnecessary masterpiece.