The scene in which we discover what it is should be a hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment – I could almost hear Vangelis’s wonderful mournful synthesiser refrain – but it’s symptomatic of a film that misses so many of its big moments that it isn’t.
There’s no Vangelis; instead the ubiquitous Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch provide an at-times deafening sound-a-vaguely-alike score that I can’t remember a note of. In its well-intentioned efforts to somehow match the impact of the original, this is a film that has become overblown, over-written and massively over-long.
But there’s a big storm a-comin’ and all flights are cancelled.
On June 12, 2014, it was announced the show was pulled from the air in the US and cancelled after airing only four episodes.
The complete series was broadcast on the ITV2 channel in the UK, on Latin-American E!
But the execution is very impressive, despite the relative inexperience of director Destin Daniel Cretton.
A deeply sentimental ending, however, does feel like a let-down.
Saving it from complete disaster are Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, the former playing an American journalist and the latter, rather less convincingly, a British neurosurgeon.
When they bump into each other at the airport, she absolutely has to get to New York to get married while he’s due in Baltimore for an emergency operation.
Retiring so-called ‘replicants’ is an easier job than it used to be, apparently – these days the new models of bio-engineered humans produced by the inevitably sinister Wallace Corporation, successor to the Tyrell Corp of the original, know what they are and cannot lie about it. Anyway, a blade runner’s job in 2049 is chasing down the earlier, more cunning and mendacious models, and it’s while K is busy doing just that that he makes a discovery.
Heck, even K knows he’s a replicant, a level of self-awareness that might have saved a lot of time – and decades of internet speculation – had Deckard been similarly blessed. What he finds is buried deep underground and provides the first strong link between the first film and this one.
And their hippie-dippie, artistic mother, Rose (Naomi Watts), is no help – she’d prefer to paint than cook and thinks her husband, with his romantic daydream of building a glass castle for them all, is a genius.
There are distinct echoes here of Captain Fantastic, another recent portrait of unconventional, off-the-grid family life, and of Esther Freud’s Hideous Kinky too.
Robin Wright is excellent as K’s boss but she inhabits a world where prostitution is rife, giant holographic nude female figures stalk the streets looking for men to pitch their services to, and even K is having an affair with a digital female he’s bought online.