Successful sequel to long running question of machine over man

Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049 (Alcon Entertainment/Stephen Vaughan)

Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy successor to its predecessor, science fiction classic Blade Runner, says reviewer Peter Sheehan.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film reprises Harrison Ford in his original iconic role as former police Blade Runner, Rick Deckard. His job in the 1982 film was to hunt down “replicants” – machines that look, act and sound like humans, and some of the replicants don’t know they are machines.

LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a new Blade Runner, working for the Los Angeles police department, and he takes the lead role in this film, with Harrison Ford as the supporting act.

Officer K lives in a polluted world where rain and snow are toxic. He discovers a secret that could mean the end to humanity, and goes in search of former Blade Runner, Rick Deckard, who disappeared 30 years ago, and who, he thinks, holds the key to an impending war of humans and machines.

The designer of replicants, Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) – the “father” of the replicants – is a blind geneticist who believes humans are a doomed species, and that replicants will take their place. Wallace is a believer in “disposable workers” and machines are his answer, and he knows that the war to come will be between humans and replicants. The one intriguing question about Deckhard is whether he himself is a replicant. This movie offers hints, but supplies no definite answer.

Technically, the film is extraordinarily innovative, and visually spectacular. Its scenes vary colour, size, perspective and brightness, and, in a controlled way, its visuals accompany frantic action. Interesting figures keep the viewer’s attention vibrantly alive. The character, Joi (Ana de Armas), for instance, constantly transforms herself to fit different fantasies of Officer K and others.

Villeneuve has established the reputation for finely detailed direction (Sicario, 2015), and of exploring complex ideas which give serious substance to science fiction scenarios (as in his multiple Oscar nominated film, Arrival, 2016). Here he explores the limits of imaginative consciousness with extraordinary set designs that are breath-taking in their composition and imaginative intent.

This movie explores intriguingly, whether machines (replicants) will be the master race, and it does that brilliantly.

– Reviewed by Peter Sheehan (ACOFB)

Blade Runner 2049 Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto and Ana de Armas. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Rated MA15+. Restricted. (Strong violence). 163 min.

FULL REVIEW

Blade Runner 2049 (ACOFB)

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