First, thank gods it wasn’t a reboot.
It was an interesting sequel, and I liked seeing how they advanced the world. In tone, it was less Noir, and more… dystopian sci-fi. The impression that the world has changed a lot in the 30-ish years since the original, beyond just the changes due to a EMP that did a fairly through wipe of data around the world, and the various dirty bombs… and a world where the entire ecosystem has collapsed and a simple wooden toy is worth a fortune. Actually, those last 2 aren’t really any different from the first movie, but most explicit. Climate change, nuclear war, and who know what genetic-bio-warfare have all but destroyed the planet for human habitation. The colonization of other planets, and the mass exodus isn’t just for commercial gain, but, it seems, a necessity.
And I think it’s the mass exodus that I noticed most strongly. In the original movie it was crowded in the streets. Busy and alive with everyone pressed in together, even as there were massive buildings empty, or nearly so. In 2049, there wasn’t the same feeling, even in the busy apartment building.
As far as the story goes, I like that they made the Replicants easy to spot. I kind of thought that was a dumb thing to do on the part of the Tyrell Corp. Why make a slave class that can blend in to the non-slave population? This time, the hunt is for one who can breed. Apparently making genetically viable Replicants is hard, but the now defunct Tyrell Corp managed it? Also seems like a stupid thing to do to make a slave class self-replicating, especially when they’re stronger than baseline humans.
A worthy sequel, but I think not one that will join the original as a classic of Sci-Fi Cinema.