Blade Runner 2049 Review Roundup: Is This One of Harrison Ford's Best Films?

He reprises his role of Rick Deckard alongside Ryan Gosling

By Corinne Heller Oct 06, 2017 8:02 PMTags
Watch: See Why Ryan Gosling & Harrison Ford Are in Stitches

Harrison Ford is receiving much praise for his return as Rick Deckard.

The 75-year-old actor, best known for his performances in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, reprises his role of the former and LAPD officer "blade runner" in Blade Runner 2049, which also stars Ryan Gosling.

Ridley Scott's original Blade Runner film was released in 1982 and was deemed a box office flop but later gained a cult following. Ford's character tracks down and "retires" replicants, essentially androids. Director Denis Villeneuve's new sequel sees Deckard, now a supporting character, in exile. Gosling plays K, also a blade runner, who is tasked with finding Deckard after discovering a secret that could change society forever.

The film also stars Jared LetoRobin WrightAnna de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks.

Harrison Ford's Best Roles

Check out what five critics said about Blade Runner 2049:

1. NPR's Chris Klimek said the movie is "even sharper than the original" and heaped praise upon Ford.

"Always a reluctant sci-fi icon, the fact of Ford's appearance in a good latter-day Star Wars and a sublime latter-day Blade Runner within two years of one another strains credulity more than a kingdom of crystal skulls, but here we are. And here he is, emotionally all-in," he wrote. "Ford uses his innate flintiness to good effect in this, his most deeply felt performance in many years."

2. The Telegraph's Robbie Collin gave the movie five out of five stars and says, "Harrison Ford is extraordinary in the most spectacular, provocative blockbuster of our time."

"Harrison Ford's recent Star Wars homecoming was pure and glorious fan-service, but this is something very different, and unexpectedly unsettling, musing on matters of aging, legacy and death," Collin wrote. "It's an extraordinary part, extraordinarily played, and reminds you just how much more Ford can do than dog-eared charisma."

Collin also called Gosling's acting "brilliant."

3. GQ's Scott Meslow called Blade Runner 2049 "the best sequel anyone could have hoped for."

"Harrison Ford has basically built his modern-day career around revisiting his most iconic roles; while he doesn't make as strong an impression here as he did in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it's a solid and layered performance in a compelling new chapter of Rick Deckard's story," he wrote. "Less impressive is Niander Wallace, the new villain played by Jared Leto, who appears solely to give big, scenery-chewing bad guy speeches."

4. The BBC's Caryn James gaves Blade Runner 2049 four out of five stars.

"Ford doesn't enliven the film for nostalgic reasons," she wrote. "He brings fierce, potent energy to the role, capturing Deckard's suspicion of K, protectiveness about his past, and will to survive.  In a career of iconic roles, this is among his best."

"Ford also energizes Gosling's performance," she continued. "First tangling verbally, then with their fists, and eventually swerving into the film's huge revelations, they call on every bit of their movie-star charisma, not in a tacky Oscar-baiting way but as actors who know how to hold a screen."

Not everyone was impressed.

5. Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson called Blade Runner 2049 an "overlong, underwhelming sequel."

"Blade Runner 2049 takes forever to go nowhere special. The picture, filled with intriguing sights, low-key performances and a few interesting ideas, is drawn out to the point of self-parody," he wrote. "If you thought Ridley Scott's original was a genre masterpiece, you'll find much to appreciate here. But if you're like me (and Roger Ebert, for what it's worth) and think the first film offers a barebones story and paper-thin characters, you'll be disappointed that the extra money and extra running time merely means a more drawn-out mystery with little urgency or momentum."

He did praise Ford's acting.

"While Harrison Ford doesn't have a ton of screen time, he gives another soulful performance," he wrote. "He is seemingly willing to spend his remaining years revisiting his cinematic icons in mourning for the future they didn't get."