Denis Villeneuve, you magnificent world wonder, you did it again!
I have seen BR2049 three times now, and therefor i rewrote my review a little, but my verdict is the same.
One of the things i have noticed with this film, is that it's not the time in the cinema that takes up my time, even at it's 163 minutes run time. It's the hours upon hours in between spent thinking about the film, that is the real time consumer. This film left such a deep and profound impact, which i cannot escape. And i have gone back to the cinema twice to be "tortured", but it's worth it.
It's a dark, mysterious, grim, hopeless, sad and lonely film, set in a possible near future where the human race is hanging by their fingertips on the edge of doom. Quite depressing. But it is so brilliantly put together, the closest master of cinema i think of that has done something like this is Stanley Kubrick.
Many of Stanley Kubrick's films was also hated by many when they first aired. "2001: A Space Odyssey" for example, which had gorgeous visuals, but felt flat and hollow for many, even professional reviewers back then.
What Kubrick did best, was to create afterthought. People left the cinema feeling confused and even depressed, but the movies planted a seed which then grew for years. The original Blade Runner also accomplished this. BR2049 continues the original, but stands completely on it's own feet, it tells a new story that directly interlink with the original, but without trying to be a copy. It's a natural continuation in the same universe. When i now saw the original Blade Runner again, i saw it in an entirely different way, it's amazing.
BR2049 has some of the most gorgeous visuals i have ever seen, and the cinematography is out of this world, there is literally no excuse not to give Roger Deakins the Oscar this time. After 13 nominations he has now hit the ball out the park and is this year in his own league entirely.
It's almost weird to look at something so gorgeous as this film is, painting a picture of such a sad and lost world. It sort of collides with your senses, your eyes say it's beautiful, your mind say it's depressing. Which senses are you going to believe? What does it mean? At least do not confuse feeling depressed as a sign that this movie is bad, it's nothing wrong feeling depressed, take it in, embrace it. Then you will know how it feels to be a replicant that's trapped in a caged mind.
BR2049's story happens 30 years after the original, but there is also three short films on Youtube i recommend you watch before you see the film. These short films describes some of what happened in between 2019 and 2049. Watching them makes it slightly easier to understand some of the things going on.
The world has gone darker in 2049, climate is spinning out of control, people are desperate and lost, law enforcement can barely keep anything together, and only a small spark can set of total disaster, which is looming just around every corner. It's a world where powerful people take what they want, and do what they want, with the means they have available to them. In many ways, not that far off from where we are now.
Niander Wallace has taken over Tyrell Corp and has by the time 2049 takes place designed millions of obedient replicants that does exactly what he tells them to do. But there is one thing Wallace has not been able to perfect, and that's what this films main story is all about, and Wallace will do anything in his power to get his hands on the "technology", which will result in him becoming many hundred times richer and more powerful, the sole ruler of the entire universe. He is so far gone in his mind by 2049 he actually believes he is god himself, and he calls his replicants angels.
And of course he also uses replicants to do his "dirty work". In 2049 we meet his right hand "girl" Luv (Brilliantly played by Sylvia Hoeks, if there is one actor in this movie that steal the show, it's her). Luv is a very dangerous assassin, that perform whatever task she is set do to, with no remorse. Or is that entirely true? I can't spoil anything, but look closely at Luv's character arc. All the other actors also do an outstanding job in this film, no one does a bad performance.
Be prepared going to see this film, it's heavy on your mind, and it demands your full attention. It's one of those rare films who dares to challenge the audience, and by doing so, taking a huge risk, and a 155 million dollar risk at that. The film isn't perfect, but it's close, and it shows the tremendous skills of Denis Villeneuve. And those few mistakes this movie has, are probably just happy little accidents as Rob Ross would have put it. This film is very much like a painting, every stroke of the brush matters, and every little detail is carefully crafted, it takes monumental skills to pull it of.
I loved this film, it's the best film I've seen all year, It is a must see, a monumental triumph of a film that is just as good (possibly even better) as the original and one of the best sequels of all time!
10/10 - Masterpiece
And BTW Villeneuve's next movie might be Dune, imagine if he brings Deakins and the rest of this team to make that movie. Yeah, I'm going to leave you with that thought. This is basically porn. And we can't talk about that now can we? might be minors reading this.