The full-length trailer for Blade Runner 2049 has finally arrived, and, let’s get this out of the way first: It looks amazing. With cinematography by infinite Oscar nominee Roger Deakins and production by Dennis Gassner, the world of Denis Villeneuve’s sequel looks to rival Ridley Scott’s original for misty dystopian moodiness, with just a touch of Only God Forgives thrown in for good measure. (Gassner and Deakins have worked together many times before, including on Skyfall and The Hudsucker Proxy, so it seems only reasonable to assume that Blade Runner 2049 will look like a cross between the two.) Call it Art Direction: The Movie, and you’re already halfway to the podium.
Unfortunately, the characters in this trailer often speak, and when they do, their dialogue, from a screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, more often sounds overcooked than hard-boiled. “The world is built on a wall that separates kind,” says Robin Wright, as some sort of stern futuristic authority figure. “Tell either side there’s no wall—you bought a war.” Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford make their requisite apperances, as do Jared Leto as a milky-eyed replicant designer, a redheaded Mackenzie Davis, and Ana de Armas as a woman who tells Gosling’s character he’s “special,” because. But after the controversy around the Blade Runner–biting Ghost in the Shell remake, it’s hard not to notice that this particular future looks to be an awfully white one. (Hiam Abbass and Barkhad Abdi are listed in the movie’s credits but don’t seem to turn up in the trailer.)
Villeneuve is often the person Hollywood turns to when it want movies that look smartish but still cater to baser desires, and the Blade Runner 2049 trailer is full of enough shots of people drawing guns on each other and things blowing up to assure us this is going to be an elegantly mounted action blockbuster and not, to quote one of Deakins and Gassner’s previous collaborations, “some fruity movie about suffering,” even if they do manage to make Dave Bautista look like William Hurt.