Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Blade Runner 2049" Review by Tim Hellman

'BLADE RUNNER 2049': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A sequel (35-years later) to the 1982 neo-noir sci-fi classic 'BLADE RUNNER'; which was based on the short story 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', by Philip K. Dick. This film takes place 30-years after the original, and it revolves around a new Blade Runner, who discovers a long hidden secret which threatens their future society's way of life. He must seek out a retired Blade Runner (Harrison Ford, reprising his role from the original film), who's been missing for 30-years, in order to stop this new threat. This new chapter stars Ryan Gosling, Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Sean Young and Edward James Olmos also have cameos in the movie, reprising their roles from the original film as well. It was directed by Denis Villeneuve (who's also helmed such critically acclaimed hits as 2013's 'PRISONERS', 2015's 'SICARIO', and 2016's 'ARRIVAL'), and it was scripted by Hampton Fancher (who also wrote the original) and Michael Green (who also co-wrote 'ALIEN: COVENANT' and 'LOGAN', from earlier this year). Scott Free Productions (ran by the original film's director, Ridley Scott) co-produced the movie. It's received rave reviews from critics (unlike the original, which was snubbed by critics when it first came out) and it's expected to be a big hit at the Box Office as well (also unlike the original, which bombed in theaters when it was released too). Some are calling it one of the best sequels ever, and one of the best films this year. I think it was really well made, and a fitting tribute to the cult classic original, but I also think it's just a little overrated too.

In the year 2049, new 'replicants' are obedient, and they serve humanity well. The old 'replicants' (from the first movie) are still rebelling against society, and they're also still being hunted down by 'Blade Runners'. While executing one 'replicant', LAPD 'Blade Runner' Officer K (Gosling) discovers a long hidden secret, that threatens their new society's way off life. He's tasked with stopping this new threat, and in order to do so he must also locate a retired 'Blade Runner', named Rick Deckard (Ford), who's been missing for 30-years.

The movie is beautifully shot, and masterfully directed. It's amazing how well Villeneuve recreates the original film's feel and style (I doubt even Ridley Scott himself could have done a better job). It's also filled with decent performances; especially Ford (reprising one of his most popular roles) and Hoeks (who makes a great cold hearted villain in it). I can definitely understand why the critics are raving about it, and it does feel like a classic sci-fi movie, but it's also extremely slow-paced; and at 2 hours and 43 minutes, it's somewhat painful to sit all the way through (in one sitting). Still, the first movie is equally slow-paced (although not nearly as long), and I know multiple people that hate the original for that reason. I think those people will also dislike this sequel, for the exact same reason. Fans of the original will all (most likely) like it though. I think it's almost as good as the 1982 classic, but not quite.

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