Blu-Ray Review: Blade Runner 2049

When Ridley Scott released Blade Runner in 1982, he indelibly changed the face of modern science-fiction film-making. Ford, Young and Hauer’s neo-noir classic created its own mythos, inspiring countless imitators and remains one of the greatest in the genre. Decades of legal wrangling regarding cuts, rights and licences finally seem to be over, and Scott decided it was time to revisit his world. Blade Runner 2049 is set thirty years after its predecessor, with Denis Villeneuve taking the helm.

K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant (bioengineered human), works for the LAPD. Serving as a ‘Blade Runner’, his job is to hunt down rogue members of his kind. During a mission he encounters Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista), who is hiding out as a protein farmer. K makes a discovery which threatens to destroy the balance of power within society. Whilst his boss (Robin Wright) tries to suppress the information, he embarks on a journey which will lead him to question who/what he really is and throws him into the path of Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the Wallace Corporation.

When a Blade Runner sequel was originally announced I think the reaction of most fans was excitement mixed with dread. It seemed like an impossible task, but Villeneuve is probably the only director who could have done such a good job with Blade Runner 2049. Hampton Fancher, one of the original writers, returns and it’s a film which feels very much at home in the universe. It’s as visually imaginative as its predecessor whilst retaining similar ‘flaws’. Gosling seamlessly steps into Ford’s shoes, exchanging Deckard’s outward anger for K’s inner intensity. Above all, Blade Runner 2049 is a magnificent achievement. It works both as an excellent standalone movie as well as a fitting and appropriate sequel.

DVD Special Features:

  • Blade Runner 101:
    • Six behind-the-scenes vignettes including The Replicant Evolution, Welcome to 2049 and the Rise of Wallace Corp
  • Prologues–Bridge the gap from the first film with three original shorts from directors Shinichiro Watanabe and Luke Scott:
  • 2036: Nexus Dawn – 6min short film directed by Luke Scott
  • 2048: Nowhere to Run – 6min short film directed by Luke Scott
  • 2022: Blackout – 15min short film directed by Shinichirô Watanabe

4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Special Features:

  • All content on the DVD
  • Designing the World of Blade Runner – an in-depth behind the scenes featurette with cast and crew including director Denis Villeneuve, executive producer Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.

Two-disc Limited Edition Blu-ray Special Features:

  • All content on the DVD, Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD
  • More than 30 minutes of Exclusive Featurettes:
  • To Be Human
  • Fights of the Future: The Action of Blade Runner 2049
  • Two Become One
  • Dressing the Skin: The Fashion of Blade Runner 2049
  • Five Exclusive Art Cards Designed by Matt Ferguson

Blade Runner 2049 is released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Limited Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on 5 February.

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