“Bladerunner 2049” stops in box office despite critical praise

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Will Patterson
A&E EDITOR

“Blade Runner 2049” is not performing well at the box office, but cinema goers shouldn’t let that deceive them. Without a doubt, “Bladerunner 2049” is one of most unique cinematic experiences film fans will find this year.

An intimidating aspect of the latest addition to the Blade Runner universe is the shear length of the runtime. At a lengthy two hours and 43 minutes, it’s easy to be turned away, but this film uses its time wisely.

A brief rundown of the film’s premise: realistic, artificial beings known as replicants have been created by humanity for slave labor. As addressed in the previous film, these humanistic beings gained a sense of sentience that demanded liberation from slavery. In “Blade Runner 2049,” the main character is a more compliant replicant model that is sent to hunt down deviant replicants.

Essentially, it’s about an “almost human acting” robot (played by Ryan Gosling) hunting down “very human acting” robots.

From there, the plot spirals into a series of revelations about what defines sentience, humanity and life itself.

Ryan Gosling does well in his role. He really sells the idea of a somewhat emotional robotic being coping with heavy realizations. It’s far from the typical role.The main character of “Blade Runner 2049” is unusual in many aspects. For most of the movie he is largely unnamed.

As a replicant, he is viewed as a tool by most humans—and frequently by himself. His boss sends him to hunt his own kind, while he takes daily tests to ensure that he’s not developing emotion or other “deviations.”

The plot deals with complex issues and does a good job of not making the “correct” choice obvious. Audiences will struggle alongside the main character as he copes with perception-altering situations.

The filming style will remind cinema fans of older techniques. In the world of fast-paced film, “Blade Runner 2049” makes use of the frequently forgotten extended shots that have made some of the most iconic movie moments. Some shots take time to focus on small things, such as the main character simply observing his own reflection or an unnamed character going about their business.

These lengthy powerful shots are usually paired excellently with the film’s suspenseful scoring. The instrumental and underlying sound effects give an eerie sensation that perfectly suits the dystopian setting.

On the other end of the spectrum, silence is also used gracefully throughout the movie. Long silences fill the gaps, sometime during scenes where one would expect to find exciting, fast-paced music. Instead, “Blade Runner 2049” seizes these opportunities to highlight the cold, calculated decision making of the replicants on screen.

It seems that once again Harrison Ford plays the role of the “old pro.” Not unlike his roles in the latest Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies, Ford portrays an aged version of his original characters that are still brimming with energy and charisma.

The film doesn’t completely hinge on Ford’s role, which was a relief. While fans of the first film may regret his limited screen time, new fans can appreciate that “Blade Runner 2049” is about a new character who is impacted by the previous plot—not defined by it.

“Blade Runner 2049” is a must-see film for any fan of science fiction or dystopian worlds. While the combination of a lengthy film and poor market-ing may be giving this movie a bad reputation, cinema fans should do themselves a favor and check it out.

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