Blade Runner 2049
2017
**½
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto

K is a Nexus-9 model replicant and LAPD officer who is tasked with putting down the obsoleted older android models. He learns that almost 30 years ago one of them gave birth to a child, which was not believed to be possible. While K is haunted by memories which could be either real or implanted, his next assignment is to find this child. Denis Villeneuve’s belated sequel to Ridley Scott’s influential Blade Runner is as stylish and reverent as one could hope. Every scene, shot, set, sound, and piece of costume is designed to within an inch of its life, which is just as well because the story seems so ordinary after 35 years of poor man’s Blade Runners and numerous inventive dystopia movies. The 1982 film didn’t exactly tuck at my heartstrings, but it was compelling and original throughout. The sequel is long, slow-paced, and self-important, and it feels like nothing is at stake. When the cast of characters is comprised of replicants, AI holograms, a cybernetically enhanced villain, and about 2 or 3 robotic humans, I find it very difficult to care how it all turns out. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard, but he adds nothing apart from continuity. The visual effects and Roger Deakins’ atmospheric cinematography won Academy Awards.