Blade Runner 2048

Director Denis Villeneuve ("Sicario") hits this one right on the button. The production design (gloomy rain), the sets (rusty, dusty and worn), Roger A. Deakins' cinematography (many lovely monochromatic scenes), the cast (brilliantly chosen) and the dialogue (minimal) all feel like an extension of the 1982 classic. This R-rated thriller has it all: casual nudity, gunfire, tension, fisticuffs, drowning, only one kiss, but a silent erotic scene with a hologram that is a technical masterpiece. We also enjoy holograms of Elvis, Liberace, Marilyn and Old Blue Eyes himself.

We have a new LAPD blade runner trying to "retire" the last of the rogue replicants who have managed to elude authorities for 30 years. He discovers that an anomaly occurred long ago which could destroy the delicate balance between newer model replicants and humans: A baby was born 30 years ago to a replicant!

Some of Villeneuve's cast:
  • Ryan Gosling ("La La Land") "K" and later Joe, is sent on the trail of that anomaly.
  • Ana de Armas ("Overdrive") Joi is a hologram who serves K with wit, wisdom and a lot of heart. This Cuban actress has the BEST face!
  • Robin Wright ("House of Cards") Lieutenant Joshi is determined that the anomaly be eradicated. The balance is too delicate and in her words, "It will break the world!"
  • Sylvia Hooks ("Whatever Happens") the formidable Luv has her agenda and will NOT be deterred!
  • Harrison Ford ("Star Wars") Rick Deckard has been in hiding for over 30 years and he does NOT want to see Joe.
  • Sean Young ("Escape Room") Rachel was the gorgeous replicant in the first movie, we are happy to revisit a scene or two with her.
  • Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers' Club") Neander Wallace has taken over the industry that created replicants in the first place.
I skipped the IMAX version and was just as happy at my neighborhood Cinerama (it's nice to have a theater one block from my condo). Not since the first "Blade Runner" have I been so captivated by an almost silent film. Once again, there is very, very little dialogue but I missed the Bradbury Building. I guess that was hoping for too much!

This film sets a new standard; it is a thought-provoking sequel with astonishing visuals, brilliant leads (Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas in particular, though Harrison Ford doesn't embarrass himself), plus a white-knuckle battle near the end that was composed so well I walked home talking to myself!

Personally, I think Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) would like this extension of his rumination on what makes humanity human.
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See for yourself:
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