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John Gillispie: Sci-fi epic ‘Blade Runner 2049’ demands attention

February 16, 2018 GMT

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “Blade Runner 2049,” which is rated R and available on DVD.

Clocking in at more than 21/2 hours before the end credits start to run, “Blade Runner 2049” is a long science-fiction film, and Harrison Ford, star of the original “Blade Runner,” shows up on screen about two-thirds of the way into the movie.

Ryan Gosling is the movie’s star, and he does a fine job in his role as a machine built to obey orders. He plays a “blade runner,” which means he has been designed to track down older versions of human-like machines that aren’t as good at obeying commands and want their freedom.

Gosling’s character doesn’t have a name - only a serial number that starts with the letter “K,” which sometimes serves as his moniker. He is nicknamed “Joe” by his girlfriend, who seems to be a hologram that is incredibly devoted to him. He cares for her, but doesn’t show a lot of emotion in the rest of his life until he starts to believe that his past may be very different from what he has always believed.

This movie features plenty of interesting characters and settings.

Some text on the screen at the very beginning serves the purpose of catching up viewers who are not familiar with the original movie. I have to say, though, that there were plenty of times in the film that I found myself confused, but the movie demanded my attention, and I got less confused as it went along.

Ford is good in his role, as is Robin Wright as Joe’s boss, while Jared Leto’s portrayal is plenty creepy as the man calling all the shots in the movie.

I’m not convinced that “Blade Runner 2049” is a movie that I would want to watch again, but I felt satisfied with my ability to focus through my confusion on a movie I could easily have given up watching. It has inspired me, though, to go back and watch “Blade Runner” again.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.