'Blade Runner 2049' Review | A visual marvel, but dragging narrative
Let’s start with the good points.
Blade Runner 2049 is hands-down a visual feast. Cinematographer Roger Deakins satiated our appetite for breathtaking shots, which I believe are better watched in IMAX - to appreciate more its gorgeous sets and masterful world-building. Likewise, the score made for an immersive experience.
Thematically, the movie questions the meaning of being human. Are we special because we were born in a certain way? If a person is manufactured or is an artificial intelligence who simply knows how to love, do they still have a right to live on this world? While we don’t have replicants or AIs that act like humans yet, we can ask ourselves how we see humans who are different from us. If we are straight, how do we care about lesbians, bisexuals, gays or transgenders? Or if we grew up Catholic, how do we see Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and event atheists who don’t believe in God? This allegory presents a powerful message against prejudices.
The sequel to the 1982 science fiction film though was not without issues. I felt the narrative was too slow. The story should have been tightened more instead of unravelling it for almost three hours. The false leads and noir tropes were predictable that these did not offset the lengthy running time.
All in all, watch it for the visuals. As for the story and pacing, drink lots of coffee so you would not fall asleep.