Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

“Blade Runner 2049” is brutal, dark, and unapologetic, but undeniably beautiful

Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling, traverses through an apocalyptic future. Photo still provided from the film Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner 2049 is brutal, dark, and unapologetic, but undeniably beautiful. A film shot and edited to perfection. Denis Villeneuve takes the world of Blade Runner and creates something fresh without losing connection to the original. Thirty-five years between films would spell trouble if it was not for the talent on and off the camera.
Set in the eerie remnants of Los Angeles Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling, sets out to find Deckard, Harrison Ford, to help solve a case that could impact humanity. Any more plot points would dissolve the mystery of the film.  
Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford play off each other with ease. The emotional range shown from both actors is remarkably performed. Ford plays a character isolated and heartbroken, while Gosling shows empathy and determination. The dystopian film shines brightly as well on the other numerous actors and actresses. The script gives each character their moment of awe without losing the overall focus. The specific awe that occurs in the movie will be withheld to avoid spoilers.
Hampton Fancher and Michael Green wrote a script that does not cash out on nostalgia or fan service. A script filled with raw emotion and a conflict greater than many blockbuster films released today contain. A script kept secret, unlike so many other films. Films that tell the viewer the stakes and solutions well before the picture premieres on the screen. This is a film that will make the audience uncomfortable.  
The society in 2049 may be advanced, but the themes of the past still linger. For a civilization so evolved it still oppresses individuals and profits off the worst of humanity. The feeling of stagnation might infuriate some viewers, but the core of Blade Runner 2049 is to expose the imperfect attributions of humanity. The strong presence of these dire themes delivers powerful performances from the actors.
The imperfections from the characters are captured with masterful work from cinematographer Roger Deakins. The shots are breathtaking and worth the price of admission alone. Blade Runner 2049 needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible to fully grasp the beauty of the production designs from Dennis Gassner. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s pounding score needs to be vibrating off the loudest speakers. The film is an experience, not a blissful distraction.
If a viewer wants non-stop action and mindless fun then avoid Blade Runner 2049 at all costs. If a good narrative with active thinking is attractive then sit for two hours and forty-three minutes as the exposure cements itself into the spectator’s memory. Whether that memory is implanted or not is entirely up to the viewer.

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“Blade Runner 2049” is brutal, dark, and unapologetic, but undeniably beautiful