FILM REVIEW | Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner is one of the most enduring and revered science-fiction movies of all time.

It starred Harrison Ford at the height of his cinematic pull, it was helmed by one of the world’s most successful directors in Ridley Scott and it was based on a story from sci-fi heavyweight Philip K Dick.

Blade Runner came out in 1982 and now, 35 years later, fans have a sequel to sink their teeth into.

Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the first film.

The original strain of replicants – almost-human androids – have been replaced with a new model, less likely to rebel.

Ryan Gosling plays ‘K’, a blade runner (a police officer who hunts down and ‘retires’ rebellious replicants) tasked with finding and covering up a person whose existence would shatter the world as they know it.

K is himself a replicant, but a new, non-rebellious model.

As is prominently revealed in the trailers, K meets up with Ford’s Rick Deckard, who has been living a solitary life on the outskirts of civilisation.

Fans flocking to the cinema to see Ford best not hold their breath – he doesn’t appear until well over an hour into the film.

Old and new: Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford face off as K and Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049, rated MA15+ and in cinemas now.

Old and new: Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford face off as K and Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049, rated MA15+ and in cinemas now.

Just like its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 is a bleak, dystopian fare filled with rain, grime and shady characters.

Director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) brings his exemplary visual style to the franchise, colouring the dystopian world with striking yellows and oranges.

The film is a visual feast, with every set, costume and effect delivered with aplomb.

The story, however, might be divisive.

Fans of Blade Runner will undoubtedly love it – it’s got all the ambiguity, despair and heavy sci-fi themes of the 1982 film.

However those that didn’t like the original are probably not going to enjoy Blade Runner 2049.

It’s pacing is slow, there are long stretches of exposition that border on boring and, if you didn’t care about Rick Deckard to begin with, you’re not going to care about him now.

If you’re even the slightest bit interested in science-fiction, Blade Runner 2049 is worth a watch.

For everyone else – well, it could go either way.

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