‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review Round-Up: Here’s What Critics Are Saying

Written By: Artur Galvao

We’ve waited 35 years but now, the sequel to the critically acclaimed sci-fi classic is here. Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, picks up 30 years after the original film and brings in a fresh cast which includes Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, and Robin Wright along with a returning Harrison Ford who reprises his role as Rick Deckard. So, how did a sequel 35 years in the making fair with critics? To the surprise of no one, Villeneuve looks to have another hit on his hands and it might go down as one of the best films of 2017.

Blade Runner 2049 currently boasts a fantastic 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 29 positive reviews and one negative (the negative review comes from a guy who didn’t like the first one either). Critics are praising everything from the acting to the story to the cinematography. Check down below to see what critics are saying!

Kyle Anderson from Nerdist:

Villeneuve has established his knack for tackling heavy topics in a way that’s both visually stunning and richly personal. It’s clear from his approach to cinema–in films like Arrival and Enemy specifically–that he likes sci-fi, and he’s said that Ridley Scott‘s original Blade Runner was a major influence on him. If anyone was going to tackle a follow-up to the 1982 original, he’s the one to do it, especially with original film screenwriter Hampton Fancher returning to pen the story and co-write the screenplay with American Gods and Logan writer Michael Green.

Eric Eisenberg from Cinemablend:

To be perfectly blunt, Blade Runner 2049 is far better than anyone could have expected it to be. Decades-late sequels are almost never actually satisfying, let alone stand out in the shadow of its predecessor. Yet what Denis Villeneuve has created here is nothing short of phenomenal, crafting a movie that is just as epic, fascinating and beautiful as the original. With time and reflection, it may even be judged as the superior film.

Scott Collura from IGN:

Perhaps one of the greatest fears fans had about a Blade Runner sequel was that it would simply replicate (ahem) the innovative and influential visual style Ridley Scott established in that film, while filling it with some kind of standard good-vs.-evil Hollywood cop tale. It’s a huge relief to see that Villeneuve and his team are well aware of what the original film was about and show enormous respect for it. Instead, 2049 plays off of the themes, plot, and characters of the 1982 movie without cannibalizing it or negating or retroactively ruining any of those elements. Rather, it organically expands and grows what came before. It’s a deep, rich, smart film that’s visually awesome and full of great sci-fi concepts, and one that was well worth the 35-year wait.

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone:

So what I can tell you about Blade Runner 2049 without having the spoiler police on my ass? Elvis is in it; ditto Sinatra. (I won’t say how for fear of reprisals.) I can reveal that the sequel runs 2 hours and 43 minutes – that’s 45 minutes longer than the 1982 original, based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? For Blade Runner junkies like myself, who’ve mainlined five different versions of Ridley Scott’s now iconic sci-fi film noir – from the release print to the Director’s Cut and the Final Cut (the last two minus that voiceover Scott and Ford hated) – every minute of this mesmerizing mindbender is a visual feast to gorge on.

Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter:

Everyone involved in this imposing enterprise has clearly dug deep to be both true to the original and come up with sharp ideas to create something more than a retread. Although the action scenes here are often brutal and Hoeks supplies her vicious character with some unexpected emotional shading, no replicant warriors in Blade Runner 2049 can measure up to those played by Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah in the first one. Leto achieves the desired weirdness level as the corporate genius behind the upgraded replicants, while Wright is all business as a top cop.

Ryan Lambie from Den of Geek:

I can’t help thinking that Philip K Dick would have the same reaction to Blade Runner 2049 if he were alive today. Like the paradoxical, disturbing and bewitching realms of the author’s books, Blade Runner 2049 should not exist. It’s a breathtaking film; a heartfelt burst of creative energy from some of the best movie-makers currently working. It is, in short, a masterpiece.

Bryan Bishop from The Verge:

Despite its flaws, one thing about Blade Runner 2049 is most welcome: it is trying to be about something. It is trying to be deep, rich, and complex. We’ve grown so used to lowest-common-denominator blockbuster cinema that it’s almost shocking to watch a big science fiction movie, featuring these kinds of stars, swinging for the fences in this way. It’s hard not to be impressed by, and a bit grateful for, the ambition and care evident in every frame.

Leah Greenblat from Entertainment Weekly:

Villeneuve, one of the few filmmakers working today for whom the word auteur doesn’t sound like an unearned affectation, may have fallen a little too in love with his own creation; at two hours and 40 minutes, aesthetic shock and awe eventually outpace the narrative. But how could he not, when nearly every impeccably composed shot — a surreal six-handed love scene; a shimmering hologram of Elvis, hip-swiveling into eternity; a “newborn” replicant, slick with amniotic goo — feels like such a ravishing visual feast? Even when its emotions risk running as cool as its palette, 2049 reaches for, and finds, something remarkable: the elevation of mainstream moviemaking to high art. 

So what do you think? Are you watching Blade Runner 2049 next weekend? Comment below and on social media and for all things in nerd culture and entertainment, keep it locked on Talkies Network!

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