BLADE RUNNER 2049 – (15) 163mins
I WAS among the first ten people in the UK to see this – and the nervousness of my fellow critics was something new for me.
After a year of huge disappointments we were all praying for something that would, for once, live up to its hype.
As the lights dimmed, a collective breath was drawn.
More than two-and-a-half hours later, we emerged sure we had witnessed one of the biggest triumphs of the year and pondering whether Blade Runner 2049 is among the greatest sci-fi films ever.
A week later I’m in no doubt whatsoever. I enjoyed this infinitely more than the original and I’m 100 per cent behind the thinking that Denis Villeneuve is the greatest filmmaker alive.
It’s 2049: 30 years since Roy Batty spoke of the Tannhauser Gate and what feels like a lifetime since Deckard had some pretty heavy questions to ask himself.
Now we have LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new Blade Runner, scouring the streets of Los Angeles for Deckard (missing since we last saw him) as he may hold the answers to a long-held secret which could have cataclysmic consequences for the world.
Erm, that’s kind of all I can say about the plot line, to be honest.
I can say Jared Leto crops up as Niander Wallace, head of a mysterious company, as does Robin Wright as a police lieutenant and Ana de Armas, wonderful as synthetic companion Joi. But as to their place in this story, nope . . . not a sausage, I’m afraid.
This is very much Ryan Gosling’s film though. He has really come of age here. Of course, all the time you’re watching, you’re waiting. Waiting for Deckard.
As with The Force Awakens and the fourth Indiana Jones, it’s always about Harrison Ford. Thankfully, this is not a phoned-in cameo. This is a wonderfully crafted story, a follow-up worthy of the company it keeps. And I haven’t even started on the visuals . . . holy moly!
If this film belongs to anyone, it’s director of photography Roger Deakins. It’s a stunning sight to behold. The whole universe is EXACTLY as it should be.
There are too many moments to choose from but if I were on the Oscars judging panel, I’d be looking at the memory-making, the holographic sex scene or a watery fight scene very closely indeed.
While seeing the original will make those big reveals and plot twists all the more pant-wetting, Blade Runner 2049 works as an epic tale in its own right. This is a very special film indeed.