Ask anyone to name things they associate with Sci-Fi and I bet the most popular answers would be along the lines of aliens, planets and spaceships.
It’s a genre that is very hit or miss. Star Wars is undoubtedly the king of Sci-Fi cinema, closely followed by Star Trek. But perhaps that could be about to change.
Submerged by praise from critics far and wide, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 may have beamed both the film series and the genre back into the limelight.
Villeneuve is slowly becoming more of a household name in modern cinema. Past works Sicario and Arrival were both warmly met with positive reviews from critics and moviegoers, but his latest phenomenon may have topped the lot.
Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner is a classic in the Sci-Fi category, and when it was revealed that this much awaited sequel was finally happening some 35 years after its predecessor, people feared it would ruin what many loved about the original.
Yet Villeneuve has taken Scott’s film to the next level, blasting the genre into a new sense of direction as a result. Anyone planning to make a Sci-Fi movie in the future should use Blade Runner 2049 as a model.
Yes it’s true; the movie didn’t perform at the box office. It only managed to take in $240 million worldwide. And yes, the Star Wars franchise continues to thrive and earn billions with each movie Disney produce. But aren’t those films just the same old thing? A young Man/Woman discovers they can use the force to stop an evil presence from destroying the entire galaxy?
Look, I’m not trying to attack Star Wars before anyone jumps to conclusions. The series (if you forget Episodes I, II and III) is fantastic and it’s great that people still get excited about lightsabers, storm troopers and space battles some 40 years after the original hit cinemas far and wide.
Blade Runner 2049 is very different to Star Wars however. It is like a painting hand-drawn by an artist on the top of his game. The length of the movie allows us to drift into this futuristic, almost apocalyptic world without the explosions that come with the most Sci-Fi films. It’s not set on different planets across the galaxy. It is all based in America, although you would be forgiven for mistakenly thinking California was Jupiter and Vegas was Mars. That’s all thanks to Roger A. Deakins for his amazing cinematography.
There is no dark or light either. Instead the characters have questions they want answered as the movie goes on. These are serious questions we ask ourselves today. Why do we exist? Why is the world the way it is? What does it truly mean to be human? What is real and what is programmed into us? It is a movie that aims to make you wonder about humanity and test your morality.
You don’t need aliens, spaceships, mega fights or a big baddie to make a good Sci-Fi movie anymore. Sci-Fi for some is too unrealistic, but Blade Runner 2049 to an extent brings us back down to earth. The whole idea of ‘Replicants’ isn’t too far from what scientists are actually trying to create in laboratories across the world.
This is by no means a film designed for children. It is a complex movie. It’s one that will get you thinking throughout. That isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and if you want something you can just sit down and watch without a care in the world, then Star Wars or Star Trek will duly oblige.
Then again Blade Runner 2049 is as simple as it is complex. At the end of the day the plot is a cop searching for a missing child, which is pretty much the storyline for most TV drama these days.
It just goes to show that Sci-Fi, like most things, comes in all different shapes and sizes. We may never get another Blade Runner film in the future, but lets hope that another film takes its place and isn’t set in a galaxy far far away.