The original “Blade Runner,” directed by Ridley Scott and based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” was a bold and visionary wonder. It was a Sci-Fi classic that ranks with the very best.
Now, we have the long awaited sequel “Blade Runner 2049,” which ranks with the recent successes of “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s one of the most patient sequels I had ever seen on the big screen.
Like the original, the sequel, this time directed by Denis Villenueve and produced by Scott, has a breathtaking view of the futuristic Los Angeles. Every shot of the city, every building, every apartment room, every hologram, every flying car, and just everything about it made my jaw drop. The snowy environment, the rainy areas, and the destroyed Las Vegas (colored in orange and yellow) are unbelievably radiant. And the art direction here is drawn to perfection.
The original took place in 2019 (that’s 2 years from now), and now it takes place 30 years later, 2049. Replicants are bioengineered humans (if fans may recall), and Ryan Gosling stars as the replicant K, who works for the LAPD as a “Blade Runner.” For newbies, who don’t know what that is, they retire (kill) older replicant models. He is in question on whether or not his memories are real, especially since he has a hologram lover (Ana de Armas).
The movie opens with K killing a replicant (Dave Bautista), who has a dead tree with a box containing the remains of a female replicant, who apparently died in childbirth. That sounds preposterous, but it’s true. And the ex-blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is the father of that child, and has now disappeared. And the villains in the film are the replicants’ new manufacturer Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) and his replicant enforcer (Sylvia Hoeks), both of whom must find the child.
“Blade Runner 2049” is absolutely great. It’s a breathtaking Sci-Fi sequel with a challenging premise, terrific performances from Gosling, Ford, Hoeks, and Leto, and a great view of LA in the future. If you haven’t seen the original film, then go see the original. If you saw it and loved it, then go see its sequel.