RUN­NING STRONG

Melville Times - - Lifestyle -

IT does not hap­pen of­ten, but some­times a be­lated se­quel is jus­ti­fied.

About 35 years after Ri­d­ley Scott’s Blade Run­ner fal­tered at the box of­fice, leav­ing its lim­ited au­di­ence and crit­ics scratch­ing their heads, but was later re­assessed, the world of repli­cants and their hunters is re­vis­ited.

Keep­ing in tune with the first stylis­ti­cally and struc­turally but ex­pand­ing on the es­tab­lished lore, round two has LAPD blade run­ner K (Ryan Gosling), whose job is to re­tire bio-en­gi­neered hu­mans who have gone rogue, un­cov­er­ing a long-cov­ered up mys­tery about a par­tic­u­lar model.

His in­ves­ti­ga­tion puts him in dan­ger but also leads him to for­mer cop Deckard (Har­ri­son Ford), who has been in hid­ing for 30 years.

The stu­dio is ask­ing view­ers and re­view­ers to keep plot points off the in­ter­net, but the script is fairly straight­for­ward.

While there is sub­text to mull over – iden­tity, mem­o­ries, fam­ily – this is vis­ual film­mak­ing at its best.

World build­ing in film is of­ten so fleet­ing, with just ba­sic de­tails shown or a bit of con­text be­fore the ac­tion kicks off, but with di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve in charge, we are left to mari­nade in this dystopian fu­ture.

With a rous­ing sound­track and sound ef­fects (some could ar­gue over­whelm­ing if the vol­ume is turned up too high in cin­e­mas), the ex­pe­ri­ence is en­velop­ing.

While Vil­leneuve’s re­strained work is im­pres­sive, it is cin­e­matog­ra­pher Roger Deakins’ achieve­ments that are mas­ter­ful and hi­jack fo­cus.

Every sin­gle frame is metic­u­lously and beau­ti­fully re­alised, of­fer­ing a daz­zling vis­ual feast that de­mands to be seen on the big screen.

If nothing else, Blade Run­ner 2049 could take the crown for the best film even with the sound off.

Ryan Gosling and Har­ri­son Ford in Blade Run­ner 2049.

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