It all comes together to thrilling and deeply satisfying effect with the Blu-ray of Blade Runner 2049. Opinions might differ over the film itself, but there can be no denying the potency and compound complexity of the film’s 5.1 mix in the hands of this B&W setup. It’s immersive, powerful and yet incredibly subtle. During the sequence with Blade Runner K and his holographic girlfriend Joi on a rooftop (Chapter 2), the ambient falling rain is so convincing and the droplet splashes so specific and varied (acquiring a hollow metallic ring when they fall on an unseen drainpipe over your shoulder, for instance), it actually gave me a little shiver.
At the other end of the decibel scale, the visceral intensity of the Las Vegas attack (Chapter 12) still has me flinching, even though I’ve watched the movie several times. The sub’s capacity for heavy-fisted damage is perfectly showcased as it teams up with the concrete-trashing transient surround effects to deliver mayhem and gathering rubble with extreme prejudice. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s post-Vangelis soundtrack has muscle and menace in equal measure, but also a gentle lilting beauty as Tears in Rain from the original Blade Runner is reprised in the final scene. It all leaves me exhilarated but rather exhausted.