Film Review: Blade Runner 2049 (5 out of 5)

Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049

As a science fiction fan, the 1982 film Blade Runner has been my all-time favourite movie since I first saw the original in the cinema and then was even more impressed with the director’s cut.

So, along with many others, I was very keen to see, but a bit worried about, a sequel all these years later.

Inevitably, there’s going to be a comparison with the original which was pre-CGI, had incredible sets and also revelled in an impressive score from Vangelis.

Thankfully, director Denis Villeneuve has a good pedigree, particularly with the excellent Sicario (2015).

And he’s come up trumps with this follow-up film.

It’s set 30 years later and we meet a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling).

On a regular mission to track down an old model replicant, K discovers a buried secret that threatens to disrupt what’s left of civilisation.

There’s many a nod to the 1982 movie, and the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch is very much in keeping with Vangelis’ concept.

Earth hasn’t really moved on in the intervening 30 years, with pollution, rain and grime the order of the day. The rich have moved off-world leaving the planet to decay.

At 163 minutes, this film is getting on for an hour longer than the first movie, but we are on a journey of discovery with K, with the same kind of questions raised about life and existence that were a vital part of director Ridley Scott’s movie.

It’s no real spoiler to say that Harrison Ford is back as blade runner Rick Deckard in a vital role to the plot.

There’s great performances by everyone involved, with Robin Wright, Ana de Armas and Jared Leto and Gosling in top form.

I’m still happy to have the 1982 Blade Runner as my favourite film but this is a very worthy sequel.

Film details: Blade Runner 2049 (15) 163mins

Directors: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol