BLADE RUNNER 2049
* * * ½
(Good but long and confusing sequel)
Yes, Blade Runner was one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. It was groundbreaking, innovative and exciting.
It took 35 years to make the sequel, which means that a large percentage of people have not seen it, except those, like my friend Vince, who found an old copy at a lawn sale for a buck.
The story begins with a new generation, led by 61021 (Ryan Gosling), an LAPD blade runner out to eliminate the early model replicants when he is distracted into finding and "erase" the child of a believed pregnant replicant. The search is a long and dangerous one, leading to many dead ends, twists and turns and some confusion for the viewer.
61021, or K, comes across many tough and mean characters along the way, providing lots of action over its two-hour and forty-minute running time. The movie also raises many questions about good and evil, the existence of a soul and the relationship between humans and robots.
Gosling makes for a strong, determined hero who questions his and others’ humanity. His virtual girlfriend appears and disappears at his control, acting often as his alter ego.
The cinematography is as good as it gets, complete with both the technology and the ugliness that man has created. A scene in a waste disposal plant where hundreds of young children are forced into labor camps is as eerie as can be.
We wait too long for Harrison Ford to appear, and when he does he spends too much time as the victim, needing to be rescued by his successor. Ford is great in his continuance of his classic character. You just wish he had more prominence in the story.
There will never be another Blade Runner, but credit must be given to Denis Villenueve for his direction of the sequel to Ridley Scott's classic film.
But did it have to be so long?
Rated R, with violence, profanity, sex and nudity.