“We’ll storm Eden and retake her,” says Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace. This encapsulates the insanity and chaos of the world of blade runners and replicants in Denis Villenueve’s sequel; at the Movies 8 in Paris now.

This new installment is visually stunning beyond review. The cinematic optics that broke ground in the original are expanded upon and breathed into in such an enveloping way, it’s difficult, on viewing, to imagine a world outside the soulless cityscape of 2049 Los Angeles.

Ryan Gosling (Drive/Blue Valentine) plays replicant Officer K opposite Harrison Ford’s reprised role as Deckard. The task of blade runners remains the same: retiring rogue replicants. Though a little slow, the film follows Officer K chewing the scenery and doing quite a bit more detective work than Deckard in the original. The two end up meeting a little over an hour into the story after the narrative skillfully presents technological advancements and the existential and moral quandaries that arise from this ‘advanced’ living. What is the soul? What is human? Is technology better than humanity? The film executes these ideas satisfyingly enough.

It’s a science fiction story worth engaging but it’s mostly robots doing their best to be human. It’s hard to care emotionally or even intellectually for most of the characters here because they’re essentially highly advanced toasters. They may trick the eye and the biology behind what our eyes see and our senses take in, but 40 minutes of Officer K’s robot love with his own robot rings rather empty on reflection. And the film seems to know this, and that’s the point.

The corporate manufacturer of all replicants, Niander Wallace, sits with Deckard toward the end of the story to explain his philosophy behind what he’s doing. With a creepy egomaniacal calmness, Wallace throws around Biblical illiteracy that would be intimidating if he knew what he was talking about.

It’s a better movie than the original and is definitely worth seeing for the questions it raises about our relationship with technology, and especially the vivid visuals that pop out of the screen.

Watch the trailer:

Article Written By Nick Murillo
eParisExtra.com Movie Reviewer