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Blade Runner 2049
银翼杀手 2049

Opening Date
05 Oct 2017
NC16 Violence and Some Nudity
164 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Denis Villeneuve
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
By Thompson  11 Oct 2017
Blade Runner 2049 ultimately combines both intelligence and intimacy into a satisfying end, and will likely find itself highly appreciated by fans of the original film.
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A big caveat to readers and fans of the original Blade Runner - I've not watched the original 1982 film, so this review will be entirely couched in my experience watching Blade Runner 2049.
Rooted in hard science fiction, the series focuses on the relationship between replicants (bioengineered humans endowed with enhanced physical or mental abilities) and actual humans. So begins the premise of Blade Runner 2049, breathing new life into the dystopian Los Angeles world first conjured by Ridley Scott and faithfully recreated by director Denis Villeneuve.
Blade runners are police officers charged with killing, or "retiring," replicants, who are now enslaved by humans. With a new film comes new characters, and we are introduced to LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling), an expressionless and highly efficient mercenary who stumbles upon a life-changing fact that threatens to upend all previous replicant knowledge. Without saying too much, K's journey soon leads him to the protagonist in the original film, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a blade runner himself, in his quest for answers.
There are many individual elements that come together to be more than the sum of its parts, most critically Villeneuve (and cinematographer Roger Deakin)'s remarkable attention to visual splendour. Quite frankly, this show is probably a top contender for the most visually stunning film of the year. While I haven't seen the original film, Blade Runner 2049 is by itself an aesthetic feast that stretches the boundaries of cinematic grandeur, equal parts rain-drizzled gritty and neon-heavy psychedelic. One of the best scenes in the film involves lovemaking, but not in the way you'd expect (no spoilers!).
With that said, the story unfortunately does not live up to its visuals. And that's what really matters. Blade Runner 2049 seems to invest its energies in telling a visual story for nearly three hours without much room for anything else. Long, lingering scenes of the characters are common, but while it looks pretty, audiences will often be left to second-guess their own opinions on what is going on. It's easy to keep up in the first third of the film, but hard to follow mid-way when you're not sure how individual scenes relate to the overall narrative.
The good news is that audiences are rewarded for digging deeper, and thinking harder. Villeneuve asks some unanswerable questions here that are worth ruminating about - can a machine be human? What differentiates humans from machines? Does a machine have personal body autonomy? Blade Runner 2049 ultimately combines both intelligence and intimacy into a satisfying end, and will likely find itself highly appreciated by fans of the original film.
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