Blade Runner 2049 is set in the year 2049, where new models of replicants have been produced after older models are deemed to be rebellious and disastrous to society. These older models are currently being retired with hunters being known as blade runners. K is a replicant and a blade runner. He lives in a society where replicants are monitored to ensure that they are not going rogue, and where he is detested because of what he does. The film opens with his latest assignment, getting rid of an older model. When he scanned the location, he finds an object buried. When unearthed, it was revealed to be a set of bones from a replicant who was pregnant. This is the first that they have heard of a replicant reproducing, thus begins his search for answers that leads to the unravelling of his being.
The film was absolutely stunning. The color palette, the set design, the framing of the scenes - the film is a work of art. Roger Deakins does a tremendous job with this film. It's impossible to find fault in the visuals. The story was clear and straightforward. Every scene in the film was necessary for the narrative; it makes the objectives clear, and doesn't muddle the plot with unnecessary details that don't compliment the central plot. The story still manages to make the film alluring and have depth beyond the surface of the plot.
The villain of the story comes in the form of Wallace, the creator of the new model of replicants, who wanted to use the child for his business. The physical manifestation of this villainy was through Luv, his enforcer. The nature of Luv is telling of the development replicants have, and the inevitability of a war that will take place. The character does have a three-dimensional side even if she was just sent to do her boss's bidding. Jared Leto is ideal for the role, but he was underused. His role and Luv's role could have been absorbed by one character. While it does make sense that he would use someone else to do his dirty deeds, he could have been in the film more. His short appearances though were rather meaningful, at least he was there at pivotal parts of the narrative. Luv was such a badass character but she had some cringe-worthy lines that takes me out from the tone of her character. She could have said something else that was more in line with her persona.
Two thirds of the way in, K's investigation leads him to Deckard. Back in the beginning, it was revealed that the pregnant replicant was Rachael, and that she had a connection to a blade runner named Deckard. It is through this detail that connects K's narrative with the original's storyline. It is through this that the sequel feels like a homage to the original. The other characters in the film could have been completely random, and it would still end up with K finding himself in the presence of a rebellion.
The film isn't short, but it gives the right amount of detail that would both leave audiences anticipating for what is next while satisfying the need for an amazing film. The way things ended seemed like another will be on the works, but I like how this all left off without wanting another film. The root of both the original and the sequel is the existential crisis both main characters experience, and anything that leads the narrative off that wouldn't correlate with the films' initial point. This was another wonderful piece by Denis Villeneuve, a must-not-miss for the year.