Blade Runner 2049

2017 Oscar winner – Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography

Over the last three decades, Ridley Scott’s visionary neo-noir Blade Runner has become revered as a seminal masterpiece that’s influenced the look of almost every sci-fi movie since. That’s a tough act to follow, but, luckily, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has smashed it out of the park. Villeneuve has asked critics to reveal ‘none of the plot of the movie’. We will try to honour that.

Set 30 years on from events in the first movie, the story returns us to a permanently dark, soggy, neon-lit LA, partially populated by bioengineered humans called ‘replicants’. As the original did, Blade Runner 2049 muses on life’s big questions – what is it to be human? What is self? What is a soul? What is reality? – in a manner more akin to Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky than your average wham-bam blockbuster.

Poster for Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049Like Villeneuve’s Arrival, this is a cerebral sci-fi movie of poise and elegance, lifted further up to the stratosphere by a soundscape that mixes mystical, blood-rumbling primal booming with a hint of Vangelis. The visuals are mind-blowing and lit by an angel in the form of legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.

This is a rare sequel that enhances, arguably even surpasses, the mastery of its original. Harrison Ford, who returns as Deckard, dubbed it ‘a cathedral’ of a movie and he’s right –  this is one to worship.

– James Luxford, Metro U.K.

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