"I threw 80 punches, 79 of them missed him", he explains. When I walked into this flick, I just wanted a decent sequel. Basically, I can reveal that Blade Runners (police officers commissioned to hunt down rogue replicants) are still around in the year 2049.
Director Denis Villeneuve should be heaped with praise for creating a sombre, soulful blockbuster that takes it own sweet time to ponder and provoke rather than bludgeoning us over the head with special effects and mindless thrills. They are not sure if they are replicants or not. Thankfully, director Denis Villenueuve (Enemy, Sicario) is behind the camera for the long awaited sequel - Blade Runner 2049. He is dogged at every step by other interested parties such as the new head of the replicant-manufacturing Tyrell Corporation, Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), and an underground network of runaway replicants. But whereas Deckard's identity was up for grabs, K is definitely a replicant. What follows is a good old-fashioned adventure, and one with a huge functioning brain.
It may be too harsh to grade "2049" against the original, especially when so many copycats have since diluted its dystopian wonder.
So my relationship with the original film was complicated. A flawless playground for the French-Canadian director. The hazy screen and the arid landscapes tell us the world has been drained of its richness, its abundance having been exploited to the point that even a dead tree has become a novelty.
"Is that where you're going?"
But for all that, this is still top-notch entertainment. He has been in hiding for the last 30 years.
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. The photography, by Roger Deakins, is gorgeous, filled with stark perpendicular lines, glowing orange hazes and yellow pools of reflected light.
In a film that makes us question our perceptions of what we believe to be reality and the ways in which we judge other people's authenticity, this movie is the real deal. Gosling has already proven that he is a fantastic actor, but his performance here is the best he's ever given. By granting us access to his inner thoughts and deadpan observations, the outwardly inexpressive Deckard changes from cryptic cipher to likable hero, bringing the script's abstract emotional stakes down to earth and morphing the entire film around him in turn, as well as cementing Blade Runner's lineage in the tradition of classic LA detective fiction.
DAVE BAUTISTA: (As Sapper Morton) Plan on taking me in?
It's hard to pass over the little things that make Blade Runner 2049 a delight. Hoeks is tremendous and steals every scene she's in. The brooding performances of the males with the ferocity of the female actresses.
But don't do that or you'll miss Ford playing Deckard as a cranky veteran of life's disappointments. Villeneuve makes his audience ache for the film's climax and has perfectly cast Gosling to play the stony-faced protagonist who rarely breaks, even when his world is crashing. Buy a ticket, sit back, and take a ride into the future on the assured freeway of Villeneuve. There's so much meat on the bone of this cinematic porterhouse.