A Majestic Sequel


To be completely transparent, I purposely didn't read any reviews on Blade Runner 2049. I didn't want to be influenced by other critics' opinion.

Smart movies don't always catch fire; may not be box office blockbusters nor receive the universal critical acclaim they so deserve. Ridley Scott's Blade Runner sequel may not have caught the collective raves or boffo box office receipts that others movies can boast, but that doesn't diminish the fact that it is an incredible sequel and in some ways better than the original. In today's 90 minute "super hero" hyper-edited, 3D cinematic experience a movie like Blade Runner 2049 crawls along at a snail's pace, allowing the dystopian landscape to infect the movie audience's collective consciousness and to create a visual backdrop that affords the narrative its forward thrust.Kudos to director Denis Villeneuve and his design team. The future is not so bright. It's rather bleak and depressing. Mr. Villeneuve's previous movie, another scifi epic, Arrival was also deserving of high praise and its Oscar nomination. The man knows how to construct a mystery narrative, one full of clues and surprises without smash cut edits, gratuitous violence or mind-numbing action sequences.

Without spoiling the plot of BR49, which at this late stage is probably impossible, thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), literally unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. Their first meeting in the dusty and abandoned Las Vegas is a real acting and visual treat.

Moreover, we discover that the Wallace Corporation acquired the remnants of Tyrell Corporation, thus giving it control of the replicant technology and the business records of Tyrell, yet it is missing one key element that becomes central to the plot of Ridley's sequel.

"Nexus Dawn," the video short above, does not appear in the movie, but it does introduce Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), owner of the Wallace Corporation and is set in 2036. In this scene he reintroduces a new line of "perfected" Replicants -- the Nexus-9. He believes he's created the perfect bio-engineered replicant "slave" race of workers that our future planet will need to colonize the stars and handle most of the dangerous jobs at hand.

And kudos to writers Hampton Fancher and Michael Green for constructing a terrific script. While the glib Officer K may not be the most talkative leading man, his somewhat deadpan delivery style perfectly frames his character's expected behavior. Blade Runner 2049 is a must-see movie and very much deserving of an Oscar nomination for best film and best actor for Ryan Gosling and Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks as Officer K's nemesis simply know as Luv. (Image and clip courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)