Blade Runner 2049*

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*Grade: 5/5*

Denis Villeneuve is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best up and coming filmmaker working today. In the recent month I have dissected that of his impeccable ability to fabricate a screenplay in “Incendies,” his masterfulness to capture a world of beauty in “Prisoners,” his creativity in producing intricately designed narratives in “Enemy,” and his ability to remain ever so relevant in the ever-changing times of the world in that of “Sicario.” His lowest grade from me is that of a 4.5/5, and very few other directors that I have discussed can say that, not to toot my own horn or anything. Walking into my screening today for “Blade Runner 2049,” I found myself questioning if this was gonna be the moment that he fell off the proverbial cliff of filmmakers? I was pleased to discover that Villeneuve had raised his game up a notch or two. “Blade Runner 2049” contains a narrative that is better when discovered than told, but to provide a sensical mindset around it I will state that the narrative revolves around that of young blade runner in K (Ryan Gosling) that is placed in charge in discovering the truth behind a miraculous occurrence. That is the best synopsis I can give without ruining the film entirely for the viewer, as “Blade Runner 2049” is an impeccable example of what makes filmmaking so uniquely investing as the most prominent compliment that I can give Villeneuve is that his creation will aspire future filmmakers, as "Blade Runner 2049" is quite possibly a film that we will look back on as something unaffected by time, age, and flaws. 

This is why I love filmmaking. Denis Villeneuve and David Lowrey are the two filmmakers this year that have reminded me why I love to sit through hundred of films every year. I do it to find that gem in the rubble that is nothing short of euphorically transportive like that of Villeneuve's “Blade Runner 2049.” A film that defines the limits placed on the sci-fi genre of filmmaking, a film that deserves academy recognition as a film that is impeccably designed, performed, and marketed. An aspect I fear will not be praised enough in how that of Villeneuve was able to either convince the studio or present to the studio executives this brilliant marketing format that in itself is one of the intricacies, easter eggs, and remarkability. The craftsmanship of this film is nothing short of perfection. Roger Deakins is at the helm as cinematographer as he presents, yet again, a flawlessly visualized film that contains immaculacy in every frame. The way each frame is crafted in that of it’s positioning, lighting, color pallet, movement, placement, technique, or even that of a blend of digital and in-camera visuals are all flawlessly detailed by that of the master of visual perception in the world of filmmaking. His uniquely fabricated portraits of art enticed me with jaw-dropping euphoria as I continued to stare in awe at this films artistry. If he goes unmentioned at the Academy Awards next February, count me in as someone that will begin to view those awards as invalid as this is simply the most beautiful looking film of the year by a wide margin. The brilliant cinematography from Andrew Droz Palermo earlier this year in “A Ghost Story” is exceptional, but pales in comparison to the sheer artistry presented by the master of visuals. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, he should be incredibly proud that his work is being placed in the same conversation with the greatest person to ever lense a camera. The narrative itself is far superior to that of the original in my opinion. It continues to build upon itself and reveal details to that of the audience that is at times dumbed down for those members of the audience that find themselves baffled by the overdrawn runtime. It’s a particular annoyance for me, but an understandable one, as when presenting a film that is as intricate as that of “Blade Runner 2049” I can’t help but feel resonance with the screenwriter to over embellish particular scenes for specific viewers. Viewers that would never consider themselves film lovers but instead more that of participants from the general audience. The narrative though, in a summary at least as their will be no specific discussions upon the screenplay from this film critic, is nothing short of impeccable investment from beginning to end. The layers are laid down and allowed to breathe so that the viewer can bask in its resonance and revelations to the story. The overarching characters are never glanced over, and they never feel as if they are dumbed down. They feel tangible and as if the gritty noir essence of Scott’s creation has carried over to suit that of the atmosphere of Villeneuve's production. The performances are comprised of brilliant methods and that of deep resonance. Pain is distinguished through minute movements and facial expressions through the vast emotional depth presented by the eyes. Gosling is deserving of a nomination and Ford delivers his best performance in years as his ability to resonate is discovered in every frame. Dave Bautista’s brief appearance is noticeable and much appreciated. Jared Leto is remarkably unconventional as his character at times feels hauntingly authentic as if it’s a dream coming to fruition. Sylvia Hoeks is marvelously sinister as her facial expressions create a void of joy as her presence on the screen is felt in every way. The ingenuity of this film is a sequel that derives itself from that of the first movie to make itself feel unique. It doesn’t carry the narrative of the first one, instead Hampton Fancher and Michael Green transition the originality of the predecessor to an entirely different world fabricated with profound meaning and tangible world building. The bleakness of the noir is present while maintaining a sense of epic transportation into a film that as described above is nothing short of impeccable. 

Villeneuve's ability to bring all these talented moving parts together in one cohesively designed film that has every trait to be designated as one of the best of 2017 as well as one of the best examples of impeccable filmmaking that has been composed in the last decade of filmmaking. The performances are masterful, the cinematography is immaculate, the screenplay is immersive, the production is remarkable, and the direction is sensational. I can not dub it as a classic, as classics are created over time and not in an instant. However, I can dub “Blade Runner 2049” as an example as to why filmmaking is the most immersive art form. The one hundred and sixty-three-minute runtime is jaw-droppingly immersive from beginning to end. The visuals are, as i’ve stated already, immaculate, the screenplay is euphoric, and the man putting it altogether is masterfully blending beauty with that of intricacy almost effortlessly. This is why I love filmmaking. This is why I am a film critic. Moments like this remind as to why I search for that euphoric transportation of filmmaking that can only be experienced inside the hollow walls of a theatre. Thank you, Denis Villeneuve, for presenting me with that experience yet again, and thank you to everyone who helped in creating a film that is nothing short of deserving to be called a modern-day masterpiece of cinema.