FILM REVIEW: BLADE RUNNER 2049 (15)

Undated film still handout from Blade Runner 2049. Pictured: Ryan Gosling as K and Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. See PA Feature FILM Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Alcon Entertainment, LLC/Frank Ockenfels. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Reviews. FILM_Reviews_131973.JPG FILM_Reviews_131973.JPG

Welcome, thank you for coming. Please look up and to the left while I examine your eyes. Now answer these questions, please answer quickly as reaction time is a factor…

You’re watching TV. Suddenly you realise there’s a wasp crawling on your arm. What do you do?

OK, you’re now watching the sequel to one of the most iconic and groundbreaking sci-fi films of all time. It’s incredible near future neo-noir stuff, heart breaking and thrilling in equal measure. Denis ‘Sicario’ Villeneuve, the director, has packed it with retina burningly cool scenes and a stunning storyline that adds pathos to the events that follow on from 30 years before.

This is the tale of a new Blade Runner on the block, LAPD Officer K (Ryan ‘Drive’ Gosling). K’s job is to hunt down surviving dangerous old model replicants (robots who look and act human) and when off duty he lives with his virtual girlfriend Joi (Ana ‘Knock Knock’ de Armas). After he has a run in with a rogue replicant K unearths a long-buried secret that he is intimately connected to and could plunge what’s left of society into chaos.

Wanted by villainous tycoon Niander Wallace (Jared ‘Suicide Squad’ Leto) and hunted by the seemingly unstoppable replicant enforcer Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), K must find the original Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years and who might hold the key to the mystery.

Blade Runner 2049 is everything that fans of the original could want in a sequel. Gosling is superb in the lead role and he’s ably backed up by the rest of the cast including Ford who delivers his best performance for years.

The cinematography is eye popping too, taking the incredible dystopian near future visuals of the first film and expanding them. The gadgets, vehicles and even the iconic skyscraper sized adverts all add to the feel that the action takes place in very much the same Blade Runner universe.

At almost 3 hours this is a veritable feast for sci-fi lovers but it doesn’t drag. The storyline is poignant and moving, raising big questions about what it means to be human and what the value of life (even virtual life) is.

Blade Runner 2049 is an instant classic and possible film of the year. Make it your mission to hunt it down but be sure to have watched the original first. HHHHH

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