• James McGee

Worth the wait...

It's been 35 years since the original Blade Runner was released. It did nothing at the box office when it came out. In some places derided, many critics declared it lacking in both pacing and plot. Since then, however, it has become a cult classic and rightly so, regarded by many, including yours truly, as one of cinema's greatest science fiction films.

The penultimate scene on that rooftop in which replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) delivers his dying monologue to a wounded and exhausted Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), as the rain teems down, has become an iconic slice of movie history.

In the intervening years many rumours were floated about the possibility of a sequel. For those of us who loved the first film, we could only dream that one day that possibility would become reality.

And now, at long last...

Blade Runner 2049 hit the screens this week.

And it's bloody brilliant.

Director Denis Villeneuve has absolutely nailed it. Visually, the film is stunning. The reverence Villeneuve has for the original movie is there to see and savour in every fantastic frame, from the story-line and the dark, disturbing, dystopian landscape of California thirty years hence to the sound track from Hans Zimmer, Benjamin Wallfisch and Jóhann Jóhannssons, that carries haunting echoes of Vangelis' original theme.

It's a tremendous piece of cinema.

The word is that the opening weekend box office takings in the US were not as high as had been hoped for. Some have said it was because Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling are not big enough draws! Yeah, I know. Go figure. I can't help wondering if it's because the average age of movie-audiences over there is in the range 18 - 25. Anyone that young won't have seen the original film when it first came out, nor, possibly, any of the later cuts; therefore, they won't have the same regard for it as those of us who are longer in the tooth, and to my mind unless you've seen Ridley Scott's classic this wonderful follow-up will not make one jot of sense.

So, if you haven't seen the original Blade Runner, treat yourself to a copy. Buy, beg, rent, borrow or steal; it matters not. Then go and see the film that critics are already hailing as a modern masterpeice.

You will not regret it.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.

All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain.

Time to die..."