"Blade Runner 2049" Continues a Cult Classic

Ryan Gosling as Officer K

After all, not even Scott and Harrison Ford could agree on an answer to the biggest question of the film.

"Blade Runner 2049", the superb new sequel by Denis Villeneuve ("Arrival"), doesn't just honor that legacy, but, arguably, surpasses it, with a smart, grimly lyrical script (by Fancher and Michael Green of the top-notch "Logan"); bleakly attractive cinematography (by Roger Deakins); and an even deeper dive into questions of the soul. "Blade Runner 2049" has its action-oriented thrills, but they take a back seat to K's personal journey of the mind and a vision of the hopeful preservation of miracle and memory, the flowered weed somehow surviving on rocky ground, the woodwork of art handcrafted from the long-forgotten tree.

We are asked to reveal little about the plot, the nature of various characters and how they may relate to the original film.

The ever-reliable Gosling ("La La Land", "Blue Valentine") is, as you'd expect, quite good here.

Ryan Gosling as K in Blade Runner 2049. But a globe-trotting adventure with 007 could supersede both of those other movies. The movie's visual palette is so striking that I was nearly disappointed when Villeneuve would cut away from a long, slow plan through the dystopian streets of Los Angeles to get back to the narrative.

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Denis Villeneuve's impressively crafted and deeply respectful sequel, set 30 years later, has - more than most of its rebooting ilk - carefully preserved much of the original's DNA.

HOLCOMB: "The first Blade Runner is showing at Cinerama in Seattle the week leading up to this (release.) So many people are thrilled to see them back to back". Its slick surfaces and the atmospheric synthesizer score by Vangelis, not to mention Daryl Hannah's hair and some serious shoulder pads, made "Blade Runner" an electric portrait of 1980s soullessness. Again, though, this movie tries to get at something new, even if it feels far-fetched. Cinematographer Roger Deakins-who had better finally get his goddamn Oscar for this movie-has outdone himself in 2049.

PLOT In a future Los Angeles, a cop who hunts humanoid "replicants" discovers a life-changing secret.

"Blade Runner" is likely to be too slow for some viewers - possibly after its engrossing first half - but if you give yourself over fully to Villeneuve and company, you will be rewarded.

Jim Beveridge said: "What we have created in Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director's Cut is something really special that fans will be able to relate to and whisky drinkers will love".

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