A neo-noir treat

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By 2017-10-29

By Nirupa Mohan
Ceylon Today Features

Blade Runner 2049 stars Ryan Gosling as Officer K. Released recently, the film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, and stays focused on the theme and feel of the Blade Runner film series. It continues to receive positive ratings with 88% featured on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.6/10 on IMDb.

Though the film is a sequel, it stays cemented to the core of the series concept, based on the iconic original Blade Runner (1982) from 35 years ago. The original film was an adaptation of the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick written in 1968. In keeping with the originals history this new release takes Officer K on a mission that leads him to finding Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. Keep in mind that Ford was part of the first film 35 years ago. He brings with him a piece of history that's needed in uncovering the truth behind a secret that Officer K is trying to figure out, which may leave society in a state of chaos.
The 163 minute film made in collaboration by Columbia Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Alcon Entertainment, Thunderbird Entertainment, 16:14 Entertainment and Torridon Films, is estimated to have been made with a budget of 150 to 185 million dollars. It has easily earned over 86 million at the worldwide box office on the opening weekend.

The storyline focuses on investigating a mystery from the past, in a world with humans and replicants, as the bones of a pregnant replicant is found. The plot unfolds, as all evidence and if possible the child is ordered to be located and destroyed, to prevent a conflict between replicants and humans.

The film proves to have conflicting emotions with new models and old models of replicants, how lifelike they are and have become, with time and continued change. With secrets in the mix, the story slowly unfolds backed by a plot that puts everyone associated in danger.

Unlike the first movie that inspired science-fiction stories, Blade Runner 2049, based on the same universe, doesn't have the same impact. But it's consistent from start to finish and is not a portion of a new franchise, but is its own fully contained story making it suitable for a first time viewer of the new movie in the series. The film making cinematography is consistent and manages to capture the story and concept that was needed in keeping with the theme of the series, while taking it forward.

Gosling and Ford's performance, the best in recent times for both stars, added to the character depth making the plot come alive on screen.

This R-rated, neo-noir fantasy science fiction film may feel lengthy to some given that it is after all a long 163 minute film. Especially for those who didn't like the original, this may come off as a boring dragged out film. But for those who loved the original, this may feel like the universe expands on the series making it a sci-fi treat to watch.

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