If I saw the original Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott, then I don’t remember it. Apparently, this film became a cult classic even though it wasn’t very successful at the time of its release. Since I don’t have any knowledge of the first film, I probably was at a disadvantage when I saw this long-awaited sequel. Therefore, if you have time to see the original first, I’d recommend doing so. (A movie maven I know recommended either the uncut or Director’s cut versions).
The film is visually extraordinary and, although I didn’t see it in IMAX 3-D, I wish I had. For example, Officer K is attracted to a prostitute, but he has a holographic girlfriend, Joi (Ana de Armas). Joi “syncs” herself with the prostitute so that Officer K and she can make love. How they do this on screen is very creative and amazing!
The best two hours of the movie are terrific, but it is far too long at 2 hours, 43 minutes. The Director (Denis Villeneuve – “Arrival”) can’t seem to “trim the fat.” Despite its excessive length, the movie is very interesting and thought-provoking, exploring themes such as how our past shapes our present, the meaning and accuracy of memories, identity, and what particularly makes us human. If it was only shorter, it would be in my Top 10 for 2017.
This is one of those movies where giving away too much of the plot will spoil it, so I will make only a few brief comments. The film takes place in L.A. in (you guessed it) 2049. Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner. His job is to track down and kill old “Replicants” (androids) who are in hiding because their life expectancy has expired. Officer K is a new and improved model of Replicant. Many of the earlier-model Replicants rebelled because they didn’t like being slaves to the humans. After killing an old Replicant, Officer K finds something which begins a mystery, involving his past, as well as hidden, extremely-important information about the Replicants. The film has an excellent ensemble cast, including Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, and Robin Wright.
If you are not a Replicant, I recommend you spend some time with Officer K! If you are, I’d run for it!