Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Blade Runner 2049
In 1982, Ridley Scott brought to the screen an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Titled Blade Runner after the android hunters of the novel, the film made just over $80 million at the box office (adjusted for inflation) and became one of the 20th century’s most celebrated sci-fi works, Scott’s second such offering in a three-year period (after Alien in 1979).
Set 29 years after the original, Blade Runner 2049 follows a Replicant bounty hunter named “K” (Ryan Gosling) whose assignment is to destroy all older Replicant models that developed the ability to disobey and live human-like lives. Discovering that that Replicant model had a unique evolution, he is ordered by his police captain (Robin Wright) to seek out and destroy the “defected” machine. Others have plans to the contrary setting three distinct individuals and groups on a collision course with each other.
The contemplative sci-fi of Blade Runner is developed further in this 2049 in the hands of director Denis Villeneuve. A slow-boil thriller, the film reveals new information at its own pace, giving the audience one tantalizing visual palette after another as the course moves purposefully towards its unexpected and yet obvious conclusion. Released twenty-five years after the original, it’s a blessing to have that film’s star, Harrison Ford, back playing the character he immortalized: Rick Deckard. A couple of others from the original cast make an appearance, but deserve to be encountered organically in the film.
A dazzling picture, Roger Deakins’ cinematography is probably the best of his career, creating one indelible image after the other. Warm yellows and dark blues dominate the film with light playing across scenes in arresting and beautiful ways. Assisted by Dennis Gassner’s neo-futuristic production design and Renee April’s vibrant costumes, Deakins brings us forcefully into the quasi-futuristic landscape of Los Angeles. The music is an added treat with Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer ably building on the work Vangelis did with the original film.