Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Finally, a Sequel Worth Seeing

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Finally, a Sequel Worth Seeing

Article excerpt

Byline: Wenlei Ma

Blade Runner 2049

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Rating: MA 15+

Reviewer: Wenlei Ma

Verdict: 1/2

FOR 35 years Blade Runner has been hailed as a cinematic gem, first as a cult classic and then by the mainstream.

With its visual wizardry and ethically ambiguous tale, Blade Runner is a hard act to follow. Especially after so long, any sequel was going to have to really justify its existence.

Blade Runner 2049 does.

In the masterful hands of director Denis Villeneuve, the dystopian story does more than mere justification, it cements itself as one of the best films of 2017 and Villeneuve as one of the most exciting directors of today.

Ridley Scott - who is a producer on this instalment - is well known for his ability to frame a beautiful image, if not necessarily for carrying off his narrative ambitions. Well, Villeneuve is next-level because Blade Runner 2049 is a breathtakingly gorgeous film to look at and that's also in no small part thanks to cinematographer Roger Deakins.

It may come in at over two and a half hours but it's well-paced and manages to earn its long run time. There's not a single superfluous shot as you sit there, drinking it in, staring in awe at every magnificent visual and aural detail.

From a cascade of water spilling over a dam to the geometrical symmetry of a records room, or even in its use of light and shadows, there's not an inch on the screen that hasn't been meticulously set-up for maximum impact.

Of course, it can't match the 1982 version for its visual legacy or conceptual heights, and while original director Scott did borrow from the likes of Fritz Lang in crafting his industrial look, Villeneuve's aesthetic seems more like refinement, albeit a first-class one, than an inventive leap forward.

The plot itself is fairly straightforward and that's probably to its benefit, allowing the visuals and Gosling's brilliantly restrained performance to shine. Side note, Gosling has really perfected purposeful slow walking - what a sight. …

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