What you may need to know
2. It turns out nothing, in fact, is sacred. Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to Ridley Scott’s astounding, monolithic and baffling 1982 sci-fi drama Blade Runner. In the original, Ford played the titular detective tasked with tracking down and destroying a group of rogue replicants, murderous androids on Earth illegally after absconding from their off-world work zones. The sequel sees Ryan Gosling, also a blade runner, “unearth a long-buried secret with the potential to plunge what is left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Ford), who has been missing for 30 years.”
3. For fans of the original, a sequel presents some problems right away. There are no less than FIVE official versions of Blade Runner, each with its own characteristics and differences, some minor and some major.
4. The biggest one is the debate over whether Ford’s character is in fact a replicant himself. Depending on what version you watch, he either definitely is, definitely is not, or might be. Ford and Ridley Scott have themselves disagreed over the years. Will this sequel answer that question, add to the mystery or simply sidestep it? Whichever one it is, it couldn’t possibly satisfy everyone.
5. The sequel has been in development since 1999.
6. Naturally, this teaser trailer doesn’t reveal much, other than the fact that Harrison Ford cares little for nostalgia about his body of work. Indiana Jones, Han Solo and now Rick Deckard. Indy 4 was an embarrassment, Han Solo he got away with. One out of two ain’t bad so far.
8. Blade Runner’s ambiguous ending(s) is one of many great things about it, another being its extraordinary feat of world-building. It was one of the first sci-fi films of the modern era to propagate a “lived-in” future.
9. Denis Villeneuve’s sequel looks keen to stick to that very same aesthetic – driving rain, seedy streets and a claustrophobic atmosphere, contrasted by otherworldly neoclassical interiors and warm – but hardly comforting – light.
10. The better option would be to not make this film at all, but if they must, Villeneuve is a perfect choice to direct. In this year’s superb Arrival, also Sicario (2015) and Prisoners (2012), he has shown a talent for understating typically bombastic genres. If he can walk the line between expanding the universe but not showing TOO much of it, they may well get away with it. Blade Runner’s Los Angeles of the future is nothing if it’s not understated, so, sacrilegious as it may be, cautious optimism is justified.
11. Just please, no attack ships on fire, C-beams or tasteful shots of the Tannhauser Gate. Nobody ever knew what they were, and it’s important that it stay that way.
Verdict: Dry those tears in the rain.
Release Date: October 6, 2017