Go See Blade Runner 2049

October 15, 2017 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: Scifi.

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner is one of my favourite films. It’s sci-fi, it’s got a great cast, it’s cult, seminal and influential, ¬†and the Iron Maiden album cover Somewhere in Time owes a lot to it.

So, after over 30 years of this movie in my memory banks, I was nervous about watching a sequel. Sure, Harrison Ford’s in it, but he returned in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and remember how that ended for him!

I had two invites to go see the film and it was rude not to accept so I went on the Sunday afternoon. The night before, my wife needed a refresher, so the Final Cut version DVD was played.

“A bit weird”, dark and “very 1980s” she said. Also, she realised she’s never seen it before. I was surprised. I think we both were.

And so we sat through 30 minutes of trailers at Vue, Farnborough, then nearly 3 hours of sci-fi sequel.

Yes, I got bum ache about 2 hours in to the main feature, but otherwise it was captivating.

Ryan Gosling, who I’ve only ever seen in the film Driver, and totally loved that film, was a good update. Dry, unflinching, openly replicant, he’s an excellent Rick Deckard Mk II.

We’re also not limited to the claustrophobic, pseudo-Tokyo downpour downtown LA of the original, so horizons do, quite literally, open up.

The budget seems big and the film tech is decades better, so the permarain of the original is not needed to mask low-budget sets.

I won’t spoil the movie here but I will say that it was long, atmospheric and enjoyable. As soon as it finished I wanted to see it again.

Totally immersed is how I felt but then I do love to “get into” everything I do. [I do wonder, at my age, whether I’ve got a form of autism] The usual cinematic rustling pissed me off but I was on a mission – get my money and time’s worth out of this much-anticipated sequel.

I have to say that it felt like I’d developed synesthesia for the duration of the show; I tasted acrid post-nuclear wasteland, smelt the dusty interiors, experienced the sterile environments and the old ashen, rusting ones too.

Blade Runner 2049 was a trip. A good trip, a positive one. It’s as bittersweet as the original, a worthy successor and I believe that is wide open to another soon-to-be sequel, for better or for ill.

But let’s enjoy this one, let’s let it sink in and make a mark on the psyche, as it already seems to have done to my own.

WOW was all I could say when the end credits rolled. I’d been emotionally immersed in a world I’d been familiar with other for 35 years and it did not disappoint.

Go see Blade Runner 2049 and share your experiences here if you wish, but do it before 2052 please – it’s too bad I won’t live, but then who does?!


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