Days after the first reactions appeared on Twitter, the reviews are in for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ – and, as anticipated, they’re overwhelmingly positive.
Taking into account 31 reviews published online so far, aggregator Rotten Tomatoes calculates Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic as 97% fresh – i.e. only one of the reviews counted takes a negative outlook.
One thing the reviews seem keen to emphasise is that, unlike many sequels, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ works as a standalone film, with potential for a lasting legacy all of its own. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers remarks that “Villeneuve’s dazzling sequel is on its own march to screen legend,” whilst Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent declares that, “Like The Godfather Part II, it’s a sequel to a very celebrated film which may actually be better than the original.”
Singing much the same tune, Kyle Anderson of Nerdist says the film “supersedes its predecessor in a number of ways, and is not only a brilliant sci-fi movie, but one of the best movies of the year,” whilst Jon Lyus of Hey U Guys calls it “a triumph… better than you could have expected.”
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap says ‘Blade Runner 2049’ may challenge conventional thinking on follow-up films: “No cynical cash-grab or by-the-numbers repeat, this sequel manages to go deeper on the ideas from the first film.” On a similar note, Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic praises the film for its “furthering of not just the original story but the original world.”
And in the interests of balance: that sole negative review comes from Scott Mendelson of Forbes, who admits (and this may be a key factor) that he wasn’t a fan of the first ‘Blade Runner’: “It looks great and boasts solid performances from an underused cast, but (like the original) it’s a triumph of style over substance.”
Readers can judge for themselves when ‘Blade Runner 2049’ opens in UK cinemas this coming Thursday, 5 October.