Blade Runner 2049 (NC16)
Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
“I felt that I was a detective who did very little detecting,” Harrison Ford famously once griped about his replicant-hunting character, Rick Deckard, in Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi thriller which was a critical and commercial dud on release but has since been elevated — thanks to a director’s cut reissue — to an eternal classic.
In the long-awaited sequel, Blade Runner 2049, set 30 years after the events of the first movie, there is plenty of detecting — this time done by Ryan Gosling’s K, a burnt-out LAPD cop assigned to what’s essentially a missing-(synthetic) person case.
Don’t worry, readers, no spoilers here. What ensues is a heartaching soul-searching journey (quite literally as it turns out) as K makes his way across a decaying dystopian landscape, gorgeously and hauntingly captured by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.
The sombre existential quest and cautionary tale, astutely handled by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), is an irresistible visual feast through and through, but it never loses sight of its human story — even if its central characters aren’t. (****)
To better understand the events in Blade Runner 2049, check out this anime prequel...