Blade Runner 2049
Possibly the least provocative provocateur in contemporary cinema, director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners; Arrival) is the modern master of empty, thundering portent, and the dystopic future cinematic universe of Blade Runner gives him a gigantic space to practice his darkly didactic arts. So long, mystery and sensuality! Hello, world-building mythology and plot, plot, plot! More a straight sequel than a reboot, Blade Runner 2049 takes place thirty years after the original, in a world where a new messianic technocrat named Niander Wallace (Jared Leto, bad) has replaced Tyrell, creating an updated breed of obedient replicants. Earth remains a rain-swept, neon-lit shithole, a refuse pile for the remains of humanity unfit for off-world colonization, and blade runners still hunt and “retire” rogue old-model replicants. Ryan Gosling plays a young blade runner named “K,” sporting an updated model of Harrison Ford’s brown trench coat, and living out a similarly lonely and booze-soaked existence.