Film review: Blade Runner 2049 was a mesmerizing work of science fiction

Actor Harrison Ford poses for photos during a press conference to promote his latest film Blade Runn

Actor Harrison Ford poses for photos during a press conference to promote his latest film Blade Runner 2049. Picture: AP PHOTO/SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI - Credit: AP

The task of delivering a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 seminal science fiction noir Blade Runner that retains both its visual splendor and narrative complexity is a daunting one.

However, with Blade Runner 2049 French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has produced a follow-up just as breath-taking as its predecessor.

Taking place 30 years after the events of Blade Runner the film follows Blade Runner K (Ryan Gosling) who, after discovering a long-buried secret, embarks upon a turbulent investigation that leads him to former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for 30 years.

From the moment the film begins we are in no doubt thanks to Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography that we are in the same world Scott created three decades ago.

The expansive vistas and rain-soaked cityscapes perfectly recapture the sense of wonder and melancholy that permeated Scott’s film.

The performances also deserve praise. Gosling delivers a powerful central turn as the taciturn, conflicted K and Ford gives his finest performance to date as the returning Deckard.

The real star of the film, however, is Villeneuve. The director takes his time to explore the themes of memory, identity and what it means to be human, expertly revealing enough information as K’s investigation unravels to keep audiences engaged but withholding enough to reveal a number of harrowing twists later in the film.

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Blade Runner 2049 is a profound, engaging and mesmerizing work of science fiction and one of the year’s best films.

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