2017-10-12 / iRate

Blade Runner 2049 creates a lasting atmosphere

By JASON GUYER

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Ana de Armas in a scene from "Blade Runner 2049." (Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Ana de Armas in a scene from "Blade Runner 2049." (Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)Anyone else feel like the word masterpiece is used far too often?

I believe I have reviewed three or four films just this year that were hailed as “masterpieces.”

Not one of them lived up to that billing either. Although, some of them like “Dunkirk” or even “Mother!” did come close.

Now comes another one in the form of “Blade Runner 2049,” a film also being hailed as a masterpiece.

Naturally when I see a statement that bold I have to answer it.

The answer is unquestionably yes, “Blade Runner 2049” is a masterpiece and it deserves every accolade it gets.

There is, however, one caveat and that is that “Blade Runner 2049” is a sci-fi movie.

Yes, I realize that is fairly obvious but what I mean is that “Blade Runner 2049” is a hardcore sci-fi film and heavy on the science and the fiction.

“Blade Runner 2049” is not sci-fi in the same way that a DC or Marvel superhero film is or even any of the “Star Wars” films are because these are all sci-fi light, in my opinion.

What I mean by that is that some films have sci-fi settings while generally they keep human characters, interests, and storylines in the forefront of the film.

“Blade Runner 2049’s” story is the story of Officer K (Ryan Gosling) or “Joe.” 

Officer K is a blade runner and a replicant who works for the Los Angeles Police Department.

For reference, replicants are synthetic biorobotic beings designed to resemble a living, organic being and have para-physical capabilities. 

Yes, this is one of the sci-fi heavy elements.

During his Blade Runner duties Officer K unearths a long-buried secret, one capable of upending the society at the center of “Blade Runner 2049’s” neo-noir dystopia.

Investigating this secret, Officer K’s journey leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.

Ryan Gosling plays Officer k or “Joe” and he does a wonderful job with the character. 

At least as good as one can playing a character who essentially shows no emotion, I imagine it has to be a hard thing to do.

Gosling does tackle the character with verve and has no trouble commanding the screen even with the extreme stoicism of his character.

In fact, many of the characters in “Blade Runner 2049” are emotionless, as the majority of them are replicants and it is a defining quality. Especially with the newer versions in “Blade Runner 2049.”

Except Harrison Ford who reprises his role as Rick Deckard from the original “Blade Runner,” an older model replicant.

Ford is just as good in “Blade Runner 2049” as he was in “Blade Runner.” 

Even with the 35-year age difference he is still on top of his game as he seemingly continues his rehashing of his iconic characters.

My personal favorite character in and storyline “Blade Runner 2049” comes in the form of Ana De Armas’ Joi.

To be perfectly honest I have seen several films Armas has starred in and I have not liked any of them or any of her characters, until now.

The character of Joi is essentially a holographic artificial intelligence and is Officer K’s girlfriend.

Joi is the most human element and the most humanized character in “Blade Runner 2049.”

Creating a wonderful irony that I just love. The most human character in a world of humans and human replicas is a machine.

The characters of Joi and Officer K also combine to create one of the most heartbreaking scenes I have seen in some time. 

I shed tears the moment those events transpire around Joi’s I love you moment.

Seriously, tears came out and when a film can elicit emotion like that then you know the film could be great.

To be truly great though masterpieces create an atmosphere along with creating emotion. They make you believe you are there. They make you feel like you are there.

When you have a film like “Blade Runner 2049” where nearly every character is devoid of emotion, how do you convey emotion? 

How do you create an atmosphere for the characters to be a part of or to feel a part of?  How do you make the viewer feel the film or its characters?

“Blade Runner 2049” accomplishes this through music and it does it beautifully.

“Blade Runner 2049” is a masterpiece and for me the reason why is its atmosphere. The atmosphere it creates is majestic and awe-inspiring.

The score is hands down the biggest reason “Blade Runner 2049” is a masterpiece to me. Add in fantastic characters and great acting and it makes the film that much better.

The only downside or flaw I saw in it was Jared Leto. 

Leto plays Niander Wallace who runs the company who creates the replicants.

Every scene Leto is in his character feels out of place.

Leto’s line delivery and dialogue feel off beat, out of place, and out of pace with the rest of the characters and scenes he is apart of.

I am starting to think he might think he is already a great actor who can do no wrong, except he has done wrong. Just look at his last two characters The Joker and Niander Wallace.

I will say Leto’s eyes were fantastic and the bio-hacking his character uses to see is very cool.

Again another sci-fi heavy element to a character.

Bringing me back to my one caveat, “Blade Runner 2049” is a sci-fi masterpiece.

In my opinion, the sci-fi qualifier is very important and very necessary when I call  “Blade Runner 2049” a masterpiece.

I honestly believe that if you do not have an affinity towards sci-fi films then this movie will not be a masterpiece to you.

Equally I believe that if you do like or even love sci-fi films, then “Blade Runner 2049” will be a masterpiece to you too.

THE SCOREBOARD

I give “Blade Runner 2049” 5 out of 5.

Jason Guyer is an avid moviegoer and works in the Graphics Department at the Eagle Times. For questions or comments he can be emailed at guyer@eagletimes.com

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