After seeing Blade Runner 2049, and reading reactions and reviews afterward, it seems to me that opinion varies, in part, based on on whether one believes the themes raised by a movie need only begin a conversation, or must of necessity conclude it.
I found the film to be an enjoyably contemplative experience (a rarity at its budget), and I also found the world building compelling. While dystopias seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days, I thought the extrapolation well thought out from the perspective of ascendant corporatism ruthlessly pursuing questionable technologies in a time of governance weakened by man-made and natural disaster, containing many threads worth examination that may be unhappily relevant in the coming years.
Besides finding the film visually engaging, I enjoyed that the plotting was that of a detective story, I particularly enjoyed how much went unsaid and unexplained in favor of visual cues and narrative hints, and I thought the performances throughout were exceptional. However, one of my more durable benchmarks for a successful film is whether or not Kaylynn and I spend our time discussing it, not just immediately afterwards, but days later. In this respect, it was definitely a success.
As someone who’s owned the original Blade Runner in every consumer video format except Betamax (yes, including Laserdisc), I found Blade Runner 2049 a surprisingly worthy followup to the original. I thought it a thought-provoking and evocative film, and I’ll take that over a tidily efficient screenplay that wraps itself up and effervesces from the mind any day.