By MICHAEL GOLDMAY 8, 2017
“Your story isn’t over yet. There’s still a page left.”
Those words accompany the final shot in the new trailer for “Blade Runner 2049.” It’s a slow tilt from an open book, which has had pages ripped out of it, to Ryan Gosling’s face. His expression is cryptic; without any real context, it’s hard to read. But he sure looks cool.
So it goes in the promo for the coming sequel to “Blade Runner,” the 1982 futuristic noir directed by Ridley Scott. The trailer for the new movie, which is directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), serves up two minutes of footage, and it’s visually splendid — even when it’s not entirely clear what’s going on.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Official Trailer Video by Warner Bros. Pictures
The preview opens with Jared Leto’s character overseeing the gooey birth of a replicant. “Every civilization was built off the back of a disposable work force,” he says, starting to clue us in as to what we’re watching. Everything is a bit washed-out; the only colors that pop are burned oranges and yellows.
Then we’re quickly transported to the smoky, dark environs of dystopian Los Angeles, visuals that were hallmarks of the original film. Mr. Gosling’s character, the blade runner K, moves through a hazy city where even the neon appears to be masked in shadow. The two color palettes alternate for the rest of the trailer, creating an appropriate duality for a movie that’s all about the distinction between humans and their replicant look-alikes.
At the trailer’s climax, K comes face to face with Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford, stepping back into his role from the original). “I did your job once,” Deckard says, nudging audiences into remembering the movie released 35 years ago. “I was good at it.” They stare each other down before Deckard finally asks K what he wants. “I want to ask you some questions,” K says.
He never gets around to asking them, of course; you’ll have to buy a movie ticket for that. Instead, a beautifully choreographed sequence of shots unfolds, with sparse explanation of what’s being depicted. Already the internet is asking the same question about K that fans asked about Deckard back in the day: human or replicant?
In the end, we’re left like Mr. Gosling: staring at the screen, unsure what we’ve just seen.
But, hey — it sure looked cool.