Got a massive 4K TV and a Blu-ray player at home? Blade Runner 2049 is the first must-buy disc of 2018. Here’s our spoiler-free review of this Villeneuve-helmed sci-fi noir thriller, starring Ryan Gosling.
If (for some random reason) you’re ever asked to imagine a bleak, dark, depressing futurescape, chances are you’ll picture Blade Runner’s fiery chimneys and neon-blasted, rain-soaked cities. Even though Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi film is 35 years old, those visuals still stick with you long after the end credits. In fact, we highly recommend picking up a copy of the Final Cut on 4K Blu-ray if you haven’t already.
Now the long-awaited sequel, Blade Runner 2049, is also out on Blu-ray in full Ultra HD glory. Just the way it’s meant to be seen, then.
Blade Runner 2049: What’s the story?
Denis Villeneuve proved to be a perfect eye behind the lens for this moody sci-fi noir. With Arrival, he already proved that he can capably craft a smart science fiction drama, complete with stunning set design. He’s definitely no one-hit wonder either, as Blade Runner 2049 is another gripping futuristic tale that’ll hook your interest with its suspenseful plot and remarkable visuals.
This time the ‘hero’ of the story is K, played by Ryan Gosling. Right off the bat we discover that he’s a new model of Replicant, tasked with hunting down older versions that are still on the run. Spurned by his human colleagues and unwittingly belittled by his boss, K’s only real joy in life is the aptly-named Joi, an AI companion played by the brilliant Ana De Armas (a relative newcomer in English cinema).
A startling discovery near Blade Runner 2049’s beginning forces K into a search for Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard; not a simple task, as he’s been in the wind since the previous flick. Along the way, K finds himself dragging up some of Tyrell’s more murky secrets and questioning his very existence. The story surprises as it unfolds and characters develop in incredibly satisfying ways; a testament to the fantastic script and powerhouse performances throughout.
Blade Runner 2049: Should I buy it on 4K Blu-ray?
As with the first Blade Runner, this movie really stands out thanks to its imaginative presentation. Blade Runner 2049 is respectful to Ridley Scott’s vision, both in terms of the look and feel of the environments and the brilliant sound design. However, Villeneuve also expands on that universe in this sequel with some stark and startling locations. Even simple shots, such as the birth of a Replicant from a plastic tube, are so arresting that they linger for long afterwards.
Every scene of this 4K Blu-ray gushes with atmospheric visuals and skin-prickling audio, and that alone will have you returning time and time again. Not even that mammoth running time could put us off a second viewing, straight after the first.
Check out our round-up of the best 4K Blu-ray movies for more inspiration.