Review / ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (MA) ** and a half

REALISTS among filmgoers understand that sequels often don’t deliver the same goodies as those their forebears bequeathed.

This sci-fi sequel has connections to Ridley Scott’s 1982 dramatisation of Philip K Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. This time Scott is billed as producer. Hampton Fancher wrote both screenplays. And reprising Deckard, the blade runner who began the story, Harrison Ford arrives toward the end to give the plot some zip.

“Blade Runner 2049” runs for 163 minutes. And that’s too damn long despite being another big production starring Ryan Gosling, this time playing K, a Los Angeles Police Department detective assigned to destroy replicants.

What’s a replicant? A robot built with outward human characteristics and assigned to tasks that authentic humans no longer care to do. When early model replicants got a bit uppity, people such as Deckard were sent to root out and destroy them. The popular name for those guys was blade runners.

K finds that 30 years ago, a replicant did what was deemed impossible – had a baby. LAPD Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) brooks no digression from K’s task of finding the child now an adult. And that’s the plot in a nutshell.

Director Denis Villeneuve’s staging wallows in self-indulgence. Long, unnecessary CG sequences send flotillas of wacky, hi-tech, cop cars flaunting that most fundamental natural law – gravity – as they fly over a city devastated by a cataclysm or a battle, whatever. A sharp eye will note the maker’s name – Peugeot.

What I enjoyed most about the film is a jukebox video of Ol’ Blue Eyes singing what I consider his most poignant ballad – “One For My Baby…”. Until Deckard and K stoush it out, the rest is tedium.

At all cinemas

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