Review: BLADE RUNNER 2049

BLADE RUNNER 2049

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Cert: 15A Running Time: 2 hours 43 mins
Release Date: 4th October 2017

Watching Blade Runner 2049 is a bit like sitting in one of those flying cars, hovering over the rain-soaked neon streets of LA. It’s immersive, magical, stunning to look at, capable of taking you to cinematic worlds you never thought possible. From the first few seconds, the sound design and score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, signal the beginning of a ride into a futuristic dystopia and the need to buckle yourself in for the visually astonishing journey ahead.

Ryan Gosling is Agent K, an LAPD cop charged with finding replicants (engineered human robots) and ending their existence. When he comes across Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) he unearths a secret that could change everything. To say more of the plot at this point would be to ruin the magic that unfolds as director Denis Villeneuve takes us deeper into the seedy LA future scape. There are so many tiny plot points for the audience to discover and even though some of these are expressed from the outset, I’m very glad I didn’t know any going in, so I’m not about to spoil it for anyone else here.

It is the relationships between human and human, replicant and replicant and human and replicant that really digs into the soul of the movie and kudos to screenwriters Hampton Fancher and Michael Green for these relationships are the oil on the cogs of the intricate and multi-layered story.

Villeneuve clearly adores his leading man – Gosling is centre stage, framed in close-up and often from the back, adding depth to every frame. Gosling has a stillness that draws the camera in and he’s perfect as the detective trying to unravel a mystery.  Jared Leto does a great job of playing a creepy megalomaniac, while Ana de Armas as K’s complicated girlfriend and Sylvia Hoeks as Leto’s Luv, both excel in emotionally and physically demanding roles. The return of Harrison Ford’s Deckard is of course heavily bound to the plot but I found it hard to plug my cortex back into his character, so invested are we in Gosling’s, though a key scene late in the film, helped that enormously.

The film though not without action, does move at a languid pace, the story slow to reveal itself. This is a blockbuster yes, but it also expects patience from its audience – one they’ll be richly rewarded for. Blade Runner 2049, like its predecessor is a must-see big screen experience that unlike so many others, resonates long after. So, get in the car, give yourself over to it and let it take you to another world.

4/5

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