‘Blade Runner 2049’ does not disappoint after the original.
By Liz Lopez
Ridley Scott’s 1982 “Blade Runner” showed us a dystopian future that became so popular, it inspired the multi – million dollar sequel, “Blade Runner 2049,” directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) co-written by Hampton Fancher (from the original) and Michael Green. Even though it has been decades since the original, “Blade Runner 2049” is a great film that will engage the audience even if an individual has not seen the original, or does not recall all the details from when they last saw Scott’s film.
From the onset, the audience will know they are entering another world created by Villeneuve and his team. The production designer Dennis Gassner and cinematographer Roger Deakins have created this “other world” in “Blade Runner 2049,” 30 years after the original ended and now it appears so much worse and gritty. The team has created an LA unlike itself (as we know it) with weather that would depress anyone, and thick pollution that does not allow anyone to tell daylight from midnight.
An LAPD blade runner (Ryan Gosling) is only identified by his serial number, KD3:6-7. His job is to hunt rogue replicants (machine-made humans) left from the old days and destroy them. Gosling’s character may be an artificial being, but his talented performance does not only show how violent K is. He has the latest technology at his disposal and returns home to a fellow replicant, Joi (Ana De Armas) who has the talent to be a “real girl.”
The casting director Francine Maisler excelled with her choice of actors, including Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, Sylvia Hoeks and Carla Juri. “Blade Runner 2049” brings back Harrison Ford (as we know from the trailer), starring as Rick Deckard, the original blade runner, in a fantastic performance.
As the film opens, there is text on the screen that informs viewers about events since the original film. A blind and bearded scientist, Niander Wallace (Leto), tries to show the world how generous he is, but his agenda’s not in everyone’s best interest after taking over the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation that created the original replicants. His new android creations are programmed to follow orders without question.
As K follows orders to seek out the replicant Sapper Morton (Bautista), he discovers something and shares only partial information with his LAPD superior Lt. Joshi (Wright). During his attempt to investigate, he meets Dr. Ana Stelline (Juri), who creates memories for replicants. It is not long before Wallace learns about what K is doing and sends his trusted (new model) replicant, Luv (Hoeks), to do his bidding, fully devoid of emotion. All of the performances are strong and memorable as is the film.
“Blade Runner 2049” is long at 2 hours and 43 minutes, but is so completely engaging, fans won’t notice. The film is rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language