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Film Review: Blade Runner

Review of Blade Runner 2049

 

2017 has seen several contemporary revivals of cult classics – think IT, Baywatch and Star Wars – with varying degrees of success. The announcement that Ridley Scott’s neo-noir masterpiece was getting the same treatment after 35 years was met with apprehension. Blade Runner 2049, however, excels in both intelligent plot and stunning cinematography.

Set 30 years after the original film, the sequel explores new avenues in the same futuristic universe.

 

Ryan Gosling is Officer K, a successor to original ‘blade runner’ Rick Deckard (aka Harrison Ford), tasked with hunting down old models of bioengineered ‘replicants.’ To delve any further into the plot, brimming with intrigue and misdirection, is to risk spoiling the entire film. Gosling gives a triumphant performance as both deadpan assassin and vulnerable exile. His interactions with Ford, who is reviving yet another role that made him a global megastar, are bizarrely comic.

 

It’s a long film but director Denis Villeneuve’s commitment to the slow-burning plot keeps you gripped with its tender moments and glimpses of extreme violence. His interpretation of the dystopian world is visually enchanting as we travel from the bleak LA streets to the tangerine-soaked landscapes of a toxic Las Vegas. Familiar brands such as Sony dominate the billboards, making this sun-deprived metropolis feel like a startlingly possibility.

Equally moving and philosophically profound, Blade Runner 2049 reignites the age-old debate about what makes us truly human. Are we born human or do we become human? By exploring the blurred lines between the humans and their identical yet artificial counterparts, the film leaves you with the chilling realisation that humans are basically redundant in this vision of the future.

 

Blade Runner 2049 is so successful because it explores a familiar world in new, devastating crises while still being in conversation with its predecessor. 

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