NEW YORK - The original "Blade Runner" was made just before computers revolutionized the way movies were made, and given all of the advances in technology, I can understand how the urge to re-make this classic proved irresistible.
"Blade Runner 2049" takes place 30 years after the original, which offered such a bleak view of life in the year 2019. Harrison Ford played the title role of a Blade Runner hunting so called replicants -- man made robots with minds of their own. Now, Ford is back playing the same character.
Ford's Rick Deckard has been hiding all these years, until he's found by a younger cop played by Ryan Gosling.
It's important to point out the two don't meet until almost two hours into this VERY long movie, and while the story is complicated enough to warrant some extra time and visually there is much to engage us, "Blade Runner 2049" needed to be cut. Less would have been more for everyone except sci-fi super fans.
Jared Leto has a creepy cameo, and Robin Wright has a more substantive role as the boss of Gosling's character -- whose name is just a serial number.
It's not essential to have seen "Blade Runner," but I followed the advice of colleagues who urged me to watch the original again. It enhanced my appreciation of the new version, although the plot is easy enough to understand without the refresher course.
The sequel was never going to break as much new ground as the original "Blade Runner," but this version is almost as cool and offers a lot of bang for your buck.