Often there’s a divide between first social media reaction to a film and full reviews. That early reaction is often from junket press or festival attendees, groups that don’t often review and tend to be more effusive than the regular critics, which makes the actual reviews something of a sobering experience that puts expectations in check.
That’s not the case with Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049”. Full reviews are now popping up all over the place for the film and the verdict is astonishing, with many five-star reviews and calls that the film is even better than the original iconic 1982 masterpiece.
With 42 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes so far, the movie stands at a 97% approval rating, and more astonishingly has an 8.8/10 average rating. On Metacritic it has a less ecstatic but no less impressive 85/100. Both scores easily put this square amongst the best film of the year territory.
Ticket sales are beginning to reflect that too with online ticketing service Fandango reporting today that the film, one week out from release, is ‘significantly’ outselling the likes of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Gravity” and “The Martian” at the same point in their sales cycles.
Initial tracking for the film a few weeks ago had it at a $40 million opening, though that estimate will likely head upwards. Here’s a sampling of the reviews:
“A visually breathtaking, long-fuse action movie whose unconventional thrills could be described as many things – from tantalizing to tedious – but never ‘artificially intelligent.'” – Peter Debruge, Variety
“Super-stylish and deeply human – even with androids and holograms around – the spectacular follow-up takes the detective story of the first film and turns it into a grand mythology of identity, memory, creation and revolution.” – Brian Truitt , USA Today
“Even when its emotions risk running as cool as its palette, 2049 reaches for, and finds, something remarkable: the elevation of mainstream moviemaking to high art. A-” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
“It just has to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. Blade Runner 2049 is a narcotic spectacle of eerie and pitiless vastness, by turns satirical, tragic and romantic.” – Pete Bradshaw, The Guardian
“At the helm and in complete command of his movie with dark, ambient magic, Denis Villeneuve crafts a mysterious noir thriller the pushes existential boundaries, and nails the essence of the “Blade Runner” spirit.” – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
“It organically expands and grows what came before. It’s a deep, rich, smart film that’s visually awesome and full of great sci-fi concepts, and one that was well worth the 35-year wait.” – Scott Collura, IGN
“Forty years after his death, people still argue over which Elvis, the slim young Adonis or the portly middle aged crooner, was better. Forty years from now, people may be having that debate about these Blade Runners” – Matthew Norman, London Evening Standard
“It’s hard to make a case against reboots and long-delayed sequels when an exception to the rule like Blade Runner 2049 comes along. No cynical cash-grab or by-the-numbers repeat, this sequel manages to go deeper on the ideas from the first film.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
“It may seem premature to ascribe the word ‘masterpiece’ to a legacyquel of a heady sci-fi head-scratcher from the ’80s, but its audacity and formal perfection – not to mention its thematic weight – leave no other alternative.” – Clint Worthington, Consequence of Sound
“Like The Godfather Part II, it’s a sequel to a very celebrated film which may actually be better than the original. 5/5” – Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
“The brilliance of Blade Runner 2049 is that it makes the questions worth asking, positioning them in a menacing universe that’s nevertheless a joy to revisit.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“Villeneuve’s dazzling sequel is on its own march to screen legend. Gosling and Ford are double dynamite in a mesmerizing mindbender that asks new questions meant to tantalize, provoke and keep us up nights. Would you have it any other way? 3.5/4” – Pete Travers, Rolling Stone
“Blade Runner 2049” opens in cinemas on October 6th.