Blade Runner / Blade Runner 2049
BLADE RUNNER 2049 (15)
D: Denis Villeneuve
Warner Bros/Sony/Columbia/Alcon/Scott Free (Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin & Cynthia Yorkin)
USA 🇺🇸 2017
W: Hampton Fancher & Michael Green [based on characters created by Philip K. Dick]
DP: Roger Deakins
Ed: Joe Walker
Mus: Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch
PD: Dennis Gassner
Cos: Renee April
Ryan Gosling (Officer K), Harrison Ford (Rick Deckard), Ana de Armas (Joi), Sylvia Hoeks (Luv), Robin Wright (Lt. Joshi), Mackenzie Davis (Mariette), Dave Bautista (Sapper Morton), Jared Leto (Niander Wallace)
35 years after the original comes this highly anticipated sequel, which has a lot to live up to considering the original 1982 film is amongst the greatest science fiction films of all time.
Simply put, it's impossible to review this new film by dancing around the plot, and this will uncover major spoilers, so if you haven't seen it and wish to... stop reading now.
Firstly, it's absolutely imperative not only to have watched the original Blade Runner, but also to have seen The Final Cut, widely available on both DVD and Bluray, as the plot follows on from the finale of that particular version. Set two decades after the events of the first film, replicants are still considered illegal and Blade Runner officers are still hunting them for "retirement". One of the Blade Runner detectives is K, who makes an astonishing discovery that a replicant has procreated and is given the order to exterminate the child, who will now be in adulthood. The mission eventually introduces him to Rick Deckard, the protagonist of the original film, now in hiding following the birth of his child with his love interest from the first film, Rachel.
Another party interested in the replicant child's identity is Niander Wallace, who wishes to create the perfect biological human.
If the plot sounds like a bit of a mish-mash, you can always just sit back and enjoy the visuals, which are impeccable, but where the first film was a futuristic film noir, this is simply a futuristic detective story.
There really is a lot to enjoy about this new film, particularly from a technical point of view. The cinematography, production design, sound and visual effects are a cinema experience worth paying for, but if you have a wandering mind or haven't seen the 1982 film (any version of it), this really won't be for you. It does meander, it does have pretensions, and it has a subplot about existentialism which may leave you scratching your head wondering what the big deal is.
It's a thinking man's sci-fi, and like the first film, it needs time to gestate. Some may consider it style over substance, while others will think it the best thing since sliced bread and there really is a lot to love about it. Just don't expect the normal Hollywood output and lower your expectations if you're expecting this to be as good as the original film. It is a marvel to behold, but at a headache inducing 163 minutes it might have you fidgeting a bit before the end credits. Not recommended if you didn't like the first movie.