Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
Young Blade Runner K's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former Blade Runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.
Everything about this film on a technical level is a masterclass in filmmaking. Villeneuve puts on a show and showcases nothing but sheer brilliance through his work here, as he and his crew beautifully balance top-notch color correction, outstanding cinematography, and a haunting visual style overall. The score is also a big part of this film’s success, and it is slowly becoming the defining SciFi score of the century thus far. Zimmer is just that good. Where many find fault is within the pacing and the story overall. It is a slow moving film, but there is something about the way it moves that makes me wish more SciFi films would take their time like this. It is certainly mot everyone’s cup of tea, but I may even prefer this to action-heavy SciFi.
The majority of my satisfaction in the third act comes from the payoff of waiting as long as you do for certain reveals. Gosling’s K is also just an emotionless and no nonsense character. We finally get a moment in the second half where he lets out all of his built up rage, and that was a moment that did so much with so little, but it may not be enough to entirely convince viewers. The pain he feels throughout the film is evident, and his subtle performance does just enough to give away his emotions. Ford also gives a great performance, and it is easily his best in years. The story from the first film carries over beautifully here, and it even elevates certain ideas. The first Blade Runner is solid, but I find 2049 to be a vastly superior film. It is also a sequel that works just as well on its own. It hurts to think how this was not successful at the box office, but what matters is the quality, and 2049 is everything I needed it to be.