Ridley Scott’s 1982 cyberpunk neo-noir thriller ‘Blade Runner’ is considered to be one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, a thought-provoking meditation on what it means to be human set in the rain-drenched neon-lit dystopia of 2019 Los Angeles. As the film’s protagonist, Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard is a hard-boiled bounty hunter in the mold of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, an android-hunter who ended up falling for one. As far as replicants go, he could do much worse than the femme fatale Rachael (Sean Young).
35 years later, acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (‘Sicario,’ ‘Arrival’) continues the BR saga 30 years after the original with ‘Blade Runner 2049.’ While diehard BR geeks still debate to this day as to whether Rick Deckard is a replicant himself, there is no ambiguity in BR2049 that Ryan Gosling’s “K” (Unit KD9-3.7 to be exact) represents the latest in cutting-edge replicant technology, a model that’s fully obedient to his human masters and poses no danger of joining a replicant freedom movement like his rebellious Nexus-6 predecessors. As an unrepentant blade runner himself, K’s journey of self discovery in BR2049 also (like Deckard) made him question authority and seek redemption as he slowly unravels the juicy mystery central to the movie’s plot.
Complex, visually stylish and deeply satisfying to genre fans, BR2049 is a worthy follow‑up to the 1982 original. When you think that Philip K. Dick couldn’t have written the story any better, the screenwriters (in this case Hampton Fancher and Michael Green) must have done something right. BR2049 sucks us in with its compelling and slowly unfolding plot, intricate world‑building and future tech (including flying cars and cool holograms) and never lets up, making the 163-minute movie seemingly not so long at all.