The original 1982 Blade Runner isn’t just one of the best science fiction movies ever made – it’s one of the most influential, with its overcrowded, rainy, beautiful, bleak, and neon-lit vision of a future Los Angeles continuing to inform how the genre looks to this very day. A sequel is a risky proposition. How do you follow-up a movie whose very aesthetic has become commonplace to the point of cliche?
Well, you can start by hiring director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins, who look to have taken Ridley Scott’s original vision and fine-tuned it for 2017 audiences in a big, bold away. At the very least, the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer makes it pretty clear that this long-gestating sequel will look stunning.
But will its story be equally stunning? While the first film is often remembered more for its visuals than its plot points, it remains a noteworthy slice of hardboiled genre noir, a dense, complex, and intentionally obtuse film that offers no easy answers to its many questions. It’s maddening in the best possible ways. It’s maddening in ways that have kept audiences debating its true meaning for decades. In other words, it’s hard to imagine the original Blade Runner getting made today, in a climate where movies tend to be written by following an easily digestible template.
The film stars Harrison Ford, reprising his role as Rick Deckard, and Ryan Gosling, playing a new character named Officer K. While the presence of Ford lends this entire project a certain sense of legitimacy (this is a proper sequel with him involved!) and will trigger the right nostalgic notes, it’s Gosling who really has my attention. In recent years, Gosling has made a habit of working with top-notch directors in brave, daring, and often weird movies. The fact that he’s headlining Blade Runner 2049 can’t help but whisper volumes – he doesn’t step into franchise movies lightly.
Blade Runner 2049 is director Denis Villneuve’s follow-up to last year’s Arrival, which was /Film’s favorite movie of 2016. While he got his start with more grounded thrillers like Sicario and Prisoners, he’s quickly become one of the most reliable filmmakers working in the genre realm – it’s rare to find a filmmaker making science fiction that respects an adult audience, especially at this budget.
Blade Runner 2049 opens on October 6, 2017.
Source: Movie Reviews