Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 is the perfect sequel
Last week, I gave this film a perfect score in the online review.
Had I been too giddy or hasty? I went to see it again just in case I had been lost in a fog of fanboyism.
Well, it still gets full marks.
There are a few quibbles, but that is all they are. Yes, it is long - about 2hr 45min - and not a film you would casually drop in to watch.
It also requires concentration, so you need to see it with an audience that knows how to behave. (Good luck finding that.)
Otherwise, this is everything you want from a movie.
It is the perfect sequel, one that builds on the themes of the 1982 original without being a slave to it.
Villeneuve advances on what came before and brings you a believable take on the future. (Sadly, all too believable when it comes to the environment.)
It is not your typical thrill ride. Like the first film, this is a noir detective story set in the future. It is a race against time, with different parties all looking for the same thing - some parties more violent than others.
It also explores heavy themes of what it means to be human.
But it is expertly wrapped and presented in a masterclass of direction, cinematography, set design, costumes, sound and plotting.
Gosling is the perfect stoic, good-looking enough to be able to keep silent and still keep all eyes on him.
In interviews, it seems Harrison Ford had a blast and possibly found a soulmate in Gosling. It is also great to see Ford back to acting, rather than just appearing, in a film.
Relative newcomer, Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks, stands out as the seemingly conflicted replicant assistant to Jared Leto's emotionally detached, borderline insane tech genius.
It is these relationships that make Blade Runner 2049 so much more than a manhunt.
Each viewing reveals a new layer, new clues and a new character motivation.
There is so much going on that it stays with you long after you've ditched your popcorn.
MOVIE: Blade Runner 2049
STARRING: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Sylvia Hoeks, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto
DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve
THE SKINNY: Officer K (Gosling) is a blade runner who hunts down bio-engineered androids - replicants. He makes a discovery that puts him on a dangerous path that brings up ghosts of the past and threatens the status quo of an already fragile world.
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