Blade Runner / Blade Runner 2049

Man has made his match. Now it's his problem.
Man has made his match. Now it's his problem.
D: Ridley Scott
Warner Bros./The Ladd Company (Michael Deeley & Ridley Scott)
USA 🇺🇸 1982
117 mins (Director's Cut: 112 mins)

Science Fiction

W: Hampton Fancher & David Peoples [based on the novel 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick]
DP: Jordan Cronenweth
Ed: Terry Rawlings
Mus: Vangelis
PD: Lawrence G. Paull
Cos: Charles Knode & Michael Kaplan

Harrison Ford (Rick Deckard), Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty), Sean Young (Rachael), Edward James Olmos (Gaff), M. Emmet Walsh (Bryant), Daryl Hannah (Pris), William Sanderson (J.F. Sebastian), Brion James (Leon), Joseph Turkel (Tyrell)

Seminal science fiction movie which exists in three different edits; the original theatrical version, the director's cut (which does away with most of the voice-over narration) and the final cut.  The preferred version is subjective to the viewer, each to their own preferring one edit or another, though they all generally meet great approval with the majority of film critics.
This gloomy, futuristic film noir takes place in Los Angeles in 2019, an almost industrial looking future with fiery turrets lighting up every horizon. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter type known as a Blade Runner, whose job is to hunt and destroy rogue cyborgs known as Replicants, almost human in every way except for the way they process emotions.
This film is very much about style, with impressive sets which look both futuristic and also like something out of a 1940's Sam Spade detective film. The visual effects are also top notch, while Ridley Scott's nightmarish vision also deserves kudos.
If you're expecting aliens and spaceships, you may be disappointed. It's not that type of science fiction, but it cannot be denied its classic status.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner
Did You Know:
Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley were fired from the production after principal photography wrapped and the final scene was shot literally hours before studio executives took creative control away from them. This was due to the film going over budget, and executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin of Tandem Productions took over the editing of the project themselves. Although they did later rehire Scott and Deeley (due to the intervention of Alan Ladd, Jr.), they retained artistic control. 
After two disastrous preview screenings, Yorkin and Perenchio decided to record an explanatory voiceover and add a happy ending to appease test audiences. Ridley Scott had also acknowledged the movie's problems, and was not averse to the idea of a voiceover, but he had wanted a voiceover with Deckard musing more philosophically on the implications of his actions while Yorkin and Perenchio wanted it to provide more exposition to the audience.
This also explains why there are so many different cuts of the movie.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (15)

D: Denis Villeneuve

Warner Bros/Sony/Columbia/Alcon/Scott Free (Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin & Cynthia Yorkin)

USA 🇺🇸 2017

163 mins

Science Fiction

W: Hampton Fancher & Michael Green [based on characters created by Philip K. Dick]

DP: Roger Deakins

Ed: Joe Walker

Mus: Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch

PD: Dennis Gassner

Cos: Renee April

Ryan Gosling (Officer K), Harrison Ford (Rick Deckard), Ana de Armas (Joi), Sylvia Hoeks (Luv), Robin Wright (Lt. Joshi), Mackenzie Davis (Mariette), Dave Bautista (Sapper Morton), Jared Leto (Niander Wallace)


35 years after the original comes this highly anticipated sequel, which has a lot to live up to considering the original 1982 film is amongst the greatest science fiction films of all time. 

Simply put, it's impossible to review this new film by dancing around the plot, and this will uncover major spoilers, so if you haven't seen it and wish to... stop reading now.

Firstly, it's absolutely imperative not only to have watched the original Blade Runner, but also to have seen The Final Cut, widely available on both DVD and Bluray, as the plot follows on from the finale of that particular version. Set two decades after the events of the first film, replicants are still considered illegal and Blade Runner officers are still hunting them for "retirement". One of the Blade Runner detectives is K, who makes an astonishing discovery that a replicant has procreated and is given the order to exterminate the child, who will now be in adulthood. The mission eventually introduces him to Rick Deckard, the protagonist of the original film, now in hiding following the birth of his child with his love interest from the first film, Rachel. 

Another party interested in the replicant child's identity is Niander Wallace, who wishes to create the perfect biological human. 

If the plot sounds like a bit of a mish-mash, you can always just sit back and enjoy the visuals, which are impeccable, but where the first film was a futuristic film noir, this is simply a futuristic detective story. 

There really is a lot to enjoy about this new film, particularly from a technical point of view. The cinematography, production design, sound and visual effects are a cinema experience worth paying for, but if you have a wandering mind or haven't seen the 1982 film (any version of it), this really won't be for you. It does meander, it does have pretensions, and it has a subplot about existentialism which may leave you scratching your head wondering what the big deal is. 

It's a thinking man's sci-fi, and like the first film, it needs time to gestate. Some may consider it style over substance, while others will think it the best thing since sliced bread and there really is a lot to love about it. Just don't expect the normal Hollywood output and lower your expectations if you're expecting this to be as good as the original film. It is a marvel to behold, but at a headache inducing 163 minutes it might have you fidgeting a bit before the end credits. Not recommended if you didn't like the first movie.


Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049
Did You Know:
The original Blade Runner is notorious for having several different cuts released through the years. When questioned about the possibility of a future alternative cut of his film, director Denis Villeneuve stated that the theatrical cut is his one and only version. At one point there was a four-hour rough cut of the film that had been split into two parts for more convenient viewing, and the makers discovered that each part almost felt like a complete film on its own. They briefly considered them as two separately titled movies, but Villeneuve decided that it should be cut down to just one definitive version.