The first reviews are in for Blade Runner 2049, and it looks like anyone who thought the 35-years-in-the-making sequel was nothing more than a cash grab will be eating crow.
The movie doesn’t hit theaters until October 6, but a few lucky people have seen advanced screenings. And while there is currently an embargo against official reviews at the moment (standard procedure, nothing to be concerned about), those who’ve seen the film are allowed to share their general impressions on social media. And sharing they are.
Remarkably, not only are people saying they enjoyed the movie, but they’re claiming it actually lives up to the original 1982 film and works as a sequel. This is kind of a big deal, since 1982’s Blade Runner is one of the most acclaimed science-fiction movies ever made. The idea of a sequel after three-and-a-half decades naturally seemed like a very bad idea that was doomed to fail, but it sounds as if director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) has managed to pull of the impossible.
Joe Blo‘s Jimmy O calls the movie “Astonishing… More than just a visual wonder, it’s a groundbreaking science fiction masterpiece.” This sentiment is echoed by Collider‘s Steven Weintraub, who says, “Everyone bow down to Denis Villeneuve. He’s done the impossible and delivered a huge home run with Blade Runner 2049. Loved it.” Cinema Blend‘s Eric Eisenberg went a step further, praising the movie as the year’s best, “Blade Runner 2049 is phenomenal. Visually mind-blowing sci-fi w/ noir roots shining through in a tight, twisty mystery. Best of 2017 so far.” Comingsoon.net‘s Jenna Busch also claims the movie is a masterwork, saying, “Blade Runner 2049 was one of the most mind-blowing films I’ve seen. It’s breathtaking and transportive. Denis Villeneuve has a masterpiece.” Finally, for fans of old school sci-fi, you’ll like what Fandango‘s Erik Davis has to say: “Blade Runner 2049 is sci-fi masterpiece; the kind of deep-cut genre film we don’t see anymore. Visually mind blowing, absolutely fantastic … I think this Blade Runner is better than the original.”
Many reviewers saved most of their praise for director Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins, who has emerged as an early Oscar favorite for his work on the film. The film’s visuals are said to be breathtaking, while its plot is intellectual sci-fi at its best. This is certainly good news for the original, one of the great “thinking man’s” sci-fi films that’s also fondly remembered for its stylish visuals.
So… can we just let Denis Villeneuve take over all the sci-fi franchises?