6 things we learned from Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner Ryan Gosling

Blade Runner 2049 is finally here and it is a serious achievement. Visually stunning, bursting with creativity and as close to the original as any sequel has ever been before. It doesn’t actually have any right to be this entertaining or impressive. The Ryan Gosling-led sci-fi epic hits cinemas on October 6 but we were lucky enough to catch a preview screening the other day (Fun fact: David Baddiel was sat behind us), so we have written down our initial thoughts for all you Blade Runner fans to mull over.

Warning: May contain spoilers.

Oh sweet lord it looks spectacular

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first – Blade Runner 2049 looks amazing. And we don’t mean ‘Oh look at all the pretty colours’ we mean it’s best-looking thing our eyes have ever seen onscreen. The care and craftsmanship involved in every scene is unbelievable, and the cityscapes are brimming with detail. The murky blues and blacks of the city are counterbalanced by the vibrant pinks and blues of shimmering holograms walking its streets, leaving you mesmerised for the entire duration. Pro-tip: Watch this movie on the biggest screen you can. You won’t regret it.

Hans Zimmer wants to melt your brain

We went to see the new Blade Runner at the IMAX in Leicester Square (ooh la la) and our hearing is only just recovering. We’ve been to some loud gigs in our time, but nothing compares to the sense-shattering aural odyssey that is a Hans Zimmer production. If you don’t know Zimmer, he’s responsible for the soundscapes of Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Gladiator and The Lion King. Y’know, those wondrous, enveloping sounds that are as much as part of the movie as the visuals. His ability to build tension and hostility, but also warmth and jubilation cannot be matched.

It feels like 2019 all over again

The original Blade Runner is set two years in the future (so there’s still time for it all to become a reality) and is layered with a chrome-like coldness. It’s a bleak existence, one where it seemingly always rains, and there’s an ongoing battle between humans and their synthetic counterparts. Now, 30 years in the future, it’s just as desolate and futile. Blade Runner 2049 perfectly captures the emotionless dystopia aesthetic of the original, moreso than any other sequel has done before.

You don’t mess with Batista

We didn’t even know Dave Bautista was in this film, but there’s nothing quite like watching a former WWE Superstar twat someone’s head through a wall. One day he and The Rock will star alongside each other and Hollywood will collapse under the immense greatness.

Jared Leto is good at this acting lark

Suicide Squad was rubbish and anyone that says different is a liar and probably not your real friend. Leto’s interpretation of the Joker left a lot to be desired, despite apparently going FULL METHOD for the character, but his role as the villainous Niander Wallace is exactly what we want from the Fight Club and Requiem For A Dream actor. He’s brooding, menacing and just slimy that you sort of want him to get merked by some redemption-seeking replicant.

Timing is everything

Blade Runner 2049 is long. Very long. 163 minutes long, to be precise. And over that time the story evolves and the characters deepen, developing and nurturing the sordid world of futuristic Los Angeles. But it does feel like the ending was rushed. There’s so much set up, so much passion and emotion poured into our eyes and ears until the crescendo that sort of peters out and leaves so many questions unanswered. We never see certain characters again, and some don’t receive any kind of comeuppance despite the entire audience crying out for it. But maybe that’s the point. In the grimness of 2049 LA, nothing is fair and nothing is justified. Things don’t always turn out like you see in the movies.

Blade Runner 2049 is in cinemas worldwide from October 6.

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Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.