Blade Runner 2049 | Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi sequel lives up to its classic predecessor

Blade Runner 2049 Ryan Gosling

Future shock.

Back in 1982 Harrison Ford’s bounty-hunting blade runner Deckard famously went gunning for replicants on the rainy, neon-washed streets of a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles. There’s a new blade runner in town in Sicario director Denis Villeneuve’s dazzling sequel Blade Runner 2049, set 30 years after the events of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic.

LA is just as bleak as before, but Ryan Gosling’s officer K is himself a bioengineered replicant. And he knows it. (The jury’s still out on whether or not Ford’s Deckard was one too.) He’s seeking an answer to the puzzle left by a pile of bones discovered at the site of one of his missions. The bones are those of a female replicant and something about them hints at an earth-shattering revelation.

As the mystery unfolds, you’ll need to do almost as much head scratching as K. Given that the film runs an epic two hours forty minutes, you’ll require some of his resilience as well. Still, if you’re up to the challenge then there are generous treats in store, from the stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins (which finally won him an Oscar after 13 previous nominations) to a series of ravishing images and resonant characters.

These include K’s holographic companion Joi (Ama de Armas) and his tough police chief boss Joshi (Robin Wright); Sylvia Hoeks’ coolly ruthless replicant enforcer Luv and Jared Leto’s equally ruthless capitalist Niander Wallace. And, of course, Ford’s grizzled survivor Deckard. But what role does he play in the action? That’s just one of the mysteries waiting for you to uncover.

Certificate 15. Runtime 163 mins. Director Denis Villeneuve