Blade Runner 2049


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Blade Runner 2049
"If you haven't read the synopsis you won't have a clue what is going on"

When a sequel is anticipated in such a positive way as this one it leaves the producers with a dilemma - allow the writers and director to indulge their imaginations without editorial interference, or respect the source material and stay within the confines of continuity.

These guys chose the former. The result gives you permission to ask for a rebate. If you haven't read the synopsis you won't have a clue what is going on. And for those who prefer a sporting analogy the film comes last in the 100 slug sprint.

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Incomprehensible and S L O W.

Not the most encouraging trail for the resurrection of an iconic Ridley Scott classic from the Eighties. Add to that Ryan Gosling who has become the actor of least resistance. He can look glum, glummer and glumpt but seems incapable of expressing emotion. He does quiet and silent well enough but what of passion and pleasure?

Here he plays K, a futuristic undercover cop, although you don't know what the cover is for or why he's under it. Terrible things happen in a landscape of desolation and yet he keeps on doing nothing with an intensity that demands explanation. If you ask him why, he won't answer. If you ask him where, he says, "How do I know if my memories are implants?"

You can dance in a dark room with strangers and let the rhythm of the music lead you. Misunderstanding the grammar of a plot need not spoil the experience. It didn't with The Matrix. It does here because there is nothing to hold on to.

K has a boss (Robin Wright) who has a boss (Sylvia Hoeks) who may not be human. He is sent on an assignment connected to a lost boy and a carved wooden horse and eventually the old blade runner himself, Deckard (Harrison Ford), who lives in a stately home with a dog. K has a girlfriend, called Joi (Ana de Armas), who is a hologram.

Los Angeles looks like Syria. The air is thick with smoke. Or is it smog? Or have your glasses misted up as an act of protest? Cars fly. Guns fire. The world before Arma and Geddon has been removed for renovation. Replicants are being created as slave labour. If there is a leader he is a corporate narcissist with horror movie eyes (Jared Leto).

The effects stun your senses into thinking you are living on Planet Wow. You're not. Remember that. After two-and-three-quarter hours your mind is a mess.

Deckard says something that touches you in the void once inhabited by elements of reality.

"In the middle of the night I dream of cheese. There's nothing else to do around here."

Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2017
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Blade Runner 2049 packshot
An LAPD officer makes a discovery that leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former blade runner who has been missing for 30 years
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Read more Blade Runner 2049 reviews:

Andrew Robertson ****

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green, based on characters from the novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto, Carla Juri, Hiam Abbass, Lennie James, Edward James Olmos

Year: 2017

Runtime: 163 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, UK, Canada


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