Before we dive in, know this: I WILL NOT SPOIL THE MOVIE FOR YOU.
Blade Runner 2049 is best seen cold.
It’s also best seen on a full stomach, because it’s 2 hours 44 minutes long. With that in mind, I had a veggie sandwich (for my health) and french fries (because I gotta be me.)
FOOD/DRINK BEFORE SCREENING: Veggie sandwich and french fries
MOOD: Nervous and excited
EXPECTATION OF MOVIE: High
Walking into the screening, I felt excited but a little nervous because I knew the movie had a lot to live up to (including my high expectations.)
Thankfully, it succeeded. And then some.
Director Denis Villeneuve managed to capture the essence of the original movie without imitating it. Blade Runner 2049 feels like a natural extension - a love letter to Ridley Scott’s vision in 1982.
The city scape of Los Angeles is even more bleak and crowded and environmentally ruined. But pay attention and you’ll see throwback neon billboards for Pan Am and Atari – a total treat for those of us who love the first film.
I’d also like to say to every member of the Academy: GIVE CINEMATOGRAPHER ROGER DEAKINS AN OSCAR, ALREADY! His work in this movie is breathtaking.
Also worth noting:
Ryan Gosling gives a compelling, restrained performance.
Harrison Ford is a grumpy and solitary Rick Deckard, once again. And it’s wonderful. (Though I did find myself worrying about his health – he’s 75 and still doing some of his own stunts…)
Ana de Armas delivers a convincingly earnest performance playing… a character who interacts with Gosling’s character.
Dave Bautista is surprisingly good (and at this point, I really need to stop being surprised.) The former pro wrestler can legitimately act and it’s fun to see him age by 20 years as… a character who interacts with Gosling’s character.
As for Jared Leto, I can never decide if he’s brilliant or just over-acting – and this film is no exception. Do I like his performance? I don’t know. Does it work? I think so.
And that’s really all I can say because honestly, talking about any specific part of the movie is going to give away a key plot point that audiences should discover for themselves.
Blade Runner 2049 is an immersive, entrancing, intoxicating movie that left me pinned to my chair, thinking hard about everything I’d just seen.
In the end, my nervousness was gone and I was just excited – I can’t wait for other people to see it, too, so we can talk about it.
WHAT IS “HONEST REVIEW”?
I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. I interview actors and filmmakers. I’ve worked in broadcast television for 20 years.
I’m also a Seattle wife and mom who works full-time and sits in an hour of traffic (minimum) every day.
Sometimes I’m tired when I screen a movie. Sometimes I’m traveling and I miss my kids. Sometimes I’ve had a glass wine when I should have had a glass of water.
All of these things can impact my reaction to a film. Because I’m human.
So in an effort to write an Honest Review, I’ll always list the external factors that might affect my enjoyment of the movie. Then, I’ll give you my review. Then, you can decide if it’s useful or not.
What do you think of Honest Review or Blade Runner 2049? Let me know at @kimholcomb.