Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

2017, R, 163 min. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Starring Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 6, 2017

It’s not often a studio rep reads a pointed, preshow directive from a filmmaker to the critics assembled to view the movie. Alfred Hitchcock warned audiences to please not give away the secrets of Psycho, but Denis Villeneuve’s orders were more succinct: Tell no one anything about the recursive, thoughtfully rich plot of his sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece. This was prescient on his part, because the moment you exit Blade Runner 2049, the urge to discuss its labyrinthine, Russian nesting doll storyline – credited to screenwriters Hampton Fancher and Michael Green – is immediate and profound. So I’ll just skirt around the edges of this remarkably smart and emotionally charged sequel and say that not only is it a worthy companion piece to the original, it’s even stronger and more assured in places. I’ll be back watching it after it opens in theatres, just to kick back and let the experience – director of photography Roger Deakins’ vast, sumptuous visuals, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s mesmerizing score, and of course the tour-de-force performances from leads Gosling, Ford, and Ana de Armas. It’s that good (and I rarely watch new movies twice).

What I can tell you is that the world in the year 2049 is exponentially worse than in Scott’s original, multicultural, neon- and rain-drenched loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel. The Tyrell Corporation, manufacturers of the renegade robotic replicants that cop Deckard – or blade runner in the film’s parlance – pursued is long gone, along with much of Los Angeles, the victim of a mysterious “blackout” that has rendered the Bradbury Building and surround environs into a dusty orange hellscape. Gosling’s “K,” himself a replicant blade runner, continues hunting down the scattered and hidden renegade “old models,” including, early on, the hulking Sapper Morton (played with grim, sorrowful gravitas by Bautista), who’s now working a farm in what appears to be the middle of a desert. It’s on that farm that K discovers a perplexing clue literally buried in the ground, which leads him into direct conflict with more powerful corporate interests. His boss at the LAPD, Lieutenant Joshi (Wright) urges him on even as other forces conspire to keep him from unraveling a secret that, in the words of one character, “will be the end of everything.” K is dogged in his pursuit of the truth because, he suspects, it may relate to him personally, and because he’s a stubborn cop in the manner of Deckard’s own post-neo-noir gumshoe. I’ll say no more.

Blade Runner 2049 is chockablock with rich philosophical questions of what it means to be human and where the line between human and machine blurs into an unrecognizable haze. There are layers upon layers of subtext to dig through, but the film is never a slog even at over two-and-a-half hours. Deakins’ cinematography is achingly beautiful, so much so that many still images from the film wouldn’t look out of place hanging on your wall, and are almost certainly more eye-catching than anything you’ve got hanging there now. Coupled with Dennis Gassner’s magisterial production design and a score that both recalls Vangelis' original while still riveting in its own right makes the movie a genuinely immersive experience. I didn’t see it in 3-D or IMAX, but I suspect that viewing Villeneuve’s film in the latter might likely induce vertigo, given the massive, throbbing canvas that Blade Runner 2049 plays out against.

Is it a perfect movie? Not quite. The middle section drags a bit through no fault of the excellent performances, but ultimately it’s all of a piece, and the mid-mark pacing turns out to be a relatively minor quibble. Inarguably 2049 is an intellectually challenging film that rewards viewers with a host of new and interesting ideas, vis-à-vis man and machine, past and future, and where “the self” resides. The long wait is over, and Villeneuve’s film rewards fans’ patience in all manner of ways.

Showtimes

Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz

320 E. Sixth, 512/861-7020, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/ritz

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily by phone or website.

Tue., Oct. 17

6:30, 9:25

Wed., Oct. 18

6:00, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 19

6:30, 10:25

Tue., Oct. 17

2:15, 3:50, 6:00, 7:45, 9:45, 10:25
AFA 12:00

Wed., Oct. 18

12:00, 2:15, 3:50, 6:00, 9:45, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 17

10:45am, 11:45am, 2:35, 3:35, 6:35, 10:05, 10:35

Wed., Oct. 18

10:55am, 11:30am, 2:40, 3:15, 7:00, 10:10, 10:50

Thu., Oct. 19

11:15am, 12:25, 3:05, 4:15, 7:00, 10:50

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., Oct. 17

3:00, 6:50, 9:25, 10:05
AFA 11:15am

Wed., Oct. 18

11:15am, 3:00, 6:50, 9:25, 10:05

Thu., Oct. 19

11:05am, 2:55, 6:40, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 17

3:30, 7:00, 10:25
AFA 2:00

Wed., Oct. 18

12:15, 1:25, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., Oct. 19

12:25, 3:05, 7:00, 10:15

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., Oct. 17

3:20, 7:05, 9:30
AFA 11:45am, 12:45

Wed., Oct. 18

11:45am, 12:35, 3:45, 6:45, 7:30, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 19

11:30am, 12:35, 3:45, 6:30, 7:30, 10:10

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Tue., Oct. 17

CC/DVS, IMAX 1:00, 4:30, 8:30
Descriptive Video;Recliners;Reserved Seating 7:30
Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime;Recliners;Reserved Seating 2:15, 6:00, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 18

CC/DVS, IMAX 1:00, 4:30, 8:30
Descriptive Video;Recliners;Reserved Seating 7:30
Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime;Recliners;Reserved Seating 2:15, 6:00, 9:30

Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress, 512/936-4629, www.thestoryoftexas.com

Showtimes are subject to change, please confirm times by phone or website.

Tue., Oct. 17

IMAX 1:20, 4:30, 7:40, 10:50

Wed., Oct. 18

IMAX 1:20, 4:30, 7:40, 10:50

Thu., Oct. 19

IMAX 1:20, 4:30

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 1:20
3-D, luxury lounger 1:20
digital 12:10, 2:40, 3:50, 6:30, 7:40, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 12:10, 2:40, 3:50, 6:30, 7:40, 10:10

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 5:00
3-D, luxury lounger 5:00
digital 12:10, 1:20, 3:50, 7:40, 8:40, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 12:10, 1:20, 3:50, 7:40, 8:40, 10:10

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D 5:00
3-D, luxury lounger 5:00
digital 12:10, 1:20, 2:40, 3:50, 6:40, 7:40, 8:40, 10:20
digital, luxury lounger 12:10, 1:20, 2:40, 3:50, 6:40, 7:40, 8:40, 10:20

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 12:30, 8:05, 9:45
3-D, luxury lounger 12:30, 8:05, 9:45
digital 11:15am, 1:45, 3:00, 4:20, 5:30, 6:45, 9:15
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 1:45, 3:00, 4:20, 5:30, 6:45, 9:15

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 12:30, 8:05, 9:45
3-D, luxury lounger 12:30, 8:05, 9:45
digital 11:15am, 1:45, 3:00, 4:20, 5:30, 6:45, 9:15
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 1:45, 3:00, 4:20, 5:30, 6:45, 9:15

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 3:00
digital 11:15am, 6:45, 9:45

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 3:00
digital 11:15am, 6:45, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D 3:00
digital 11:15am, 6:45, 9:45

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 12:20, 7:50
3-D, luxury lounger 12:20, 7:50
digital 11:05am, 1:35, 2:50, 4:05, 5:20, 6:30, 9:05, 10:20
digital, luxury lounger 11:05am, 1:35, 2:50, 4:05, 5:20, 6:30, 9:05, 10:20

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 12:20, 7:50
3-D, luxury lounger 12:20, 7:50
digital 11:05am, 1:35, 2:50, 4:05, 5:20, 6:30, 9:05, 10:20
digital, luxury lounger 11:05am, 1:35, 2:50, 4:05, 5:20, 6:30, 9:05, 10:20

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 4:10
digital 2:15, 7:00, 8:10

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 4:10
digital 2:15, 7:00, 8:10

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Tue., Oct. 17

1:55, 5:30, 9:00

Wed., Oct. 18

1:55, 5:30, 9:00

Thu., Oct. 19

1:55, 5:30, 9:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Tue., Oct. 17

11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:30
EVX 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 18

11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:30
EVX 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 19

11:00am, 2:30, 6:30, 10:00
EVX 11:30am, 3:00

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Tue., Oct. 17

CC 11:30am, 2:00, 6:00, 8:45, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 18

CC 11:30am, 2:00, 6:00, 8:45, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 19

CC 11:30am, 2:00, 6:00, 8:45, 10:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
3-D, CC/DL/HI 2:40, 6:30, 10:00
3-D, D-Box 2:40, 6:45, 10:15
CC/DL/HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 2:40, 6:30, 10:00
3-D, CC/DL/HI 2:40, 6:30, 10:00
3-D, D-Box 2:40, 6:30, 10:00
CC/DL/HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D 2:40, 6:45, 10:15
3-D, CC/DL/HI 2:40, 6:30, 10:00
3-D, D-Box 2:40, 6:45, 10:15
CC/DL/HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 2:55, 6:45, 10:15
HI 2:55

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 12:40, 1:30, 5:15, 8:00, 9:35
CC/DVS 4:20, 10:05
IMAX 12:00, 3:25, 9:00

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 12:40, 1:30, 5:15, 8:00, 9:35
CC/DVS 4:20, 10:05
IMAX 12:00, 3:25, 9:00

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D, CC/DVS 12:40, 1:30, 5:15, 8:00, 9:35
CC/DVS 4:20, 10:05
IMAX 12:00, 3:25, 9:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Tue., Oct. 17

11:45am, 3:10, 6:25

Wed., Oct. 18

11:45am, 3:10, 6:25

Thu., Oct. 19

11:45am, 3:10, 6:25

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Tue., Oct. 17

10:30am, 2:30, 6:30, 10:30

Wed., Oct. 18

10:30am, 2:30, 6:30, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 19

11:00am, 2:45, 6:30, 10:15

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 2:15, 6:15, 10:00
CC/DVS 12:10, 3:20, 7:00, 9:20

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 2:15, 6:15, 10:00
CC/DVS 3:20, 7:00, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D, CC/DVS 2:15, 6:15, 10:00
CC/DVS 12:10, 3:20, 7:00, 9:20

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

Tue., Oct. 17

10:30am, 11:15am, 2:30, 3:15, 5:30, 6:30, 7:00, 9:00, 10:30

Wed., Oct. 18

10:30am, 11:15am, 2:30, 3:15, 5:30, 6:30, 9:00, 9:45, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 19

10:30am, 11:15am, 2:30, 3:00, 5:30, 6:15, 7:00, 9:00, 10:30

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Tue., Oct. 17

10:25am, 2:25, 6:20, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 18

10:25am, 2:25, 6:20, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 19

10:25am, 2:25, 6:20, 10:00

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Tue., Oct. 17

2:10, 6:50

Wed., Oct. 18

2:10, 6:50

Thu., Oct. 19

2:10, 6:50

Tue., Oct. 17

4:10, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 18

4:10, 7:00, 10:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Tue., Oct. 17

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 18

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 19

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
3-D, D-Box 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
3-D, D-Box, luxury lounger 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
3-D, luxury lounger 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
D-Box 11:45am, 3:35, 7:25
D-Box, luxury lounger 11:45am, 3:35, 7:25
digital 11:45am, 12:40, 1:35, 3:35, 4:30, 7:25, 8:25
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 12:40, 1:35, 3:35, 4:30, 5:25, 7:25, 8:25, 9:15

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D 8:25
3-D, D-Box 8:25
3-D, D-Box, luxury lounger 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
3-D, luxury lounger 2:35, 6:25, 10:15
D-Box 11:45am, 12:40, 3:35, 4:30, 7:25
D-Box, luxury lounger 11:45am, 3:35, 7:25
digital 11:45am, 12:40, 1:35, 3:35, 4:30, 5:25, 7:25, 9:15, 10:15
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 1:35, 3:35, 5:25, 7:25, 9:15, 10:45

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Tue., Oct. 17

10:50am, 12:00, 3:20, 6:40, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 18

10:50am, 12:00, 3:20, 6:40, 8:35, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 19

10:50am, 12:00, 3:20, 6:40, 9:10

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar Blvd, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 8:50
CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:10
CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:40

Thu., Oct. 19

3-D, CC/DVS 11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 8:50
CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:30
READ MORE
More Denis Villeneuve Films
Arrival
Introspective sci-fi drama packs a punch

Marc Savlov, Nov. 11, 2016

Sicario
Taut, morally ambiguous thriller is set on the U.S./Mexico border

Marjorie Baumgarten, Oct. 2, 2015

More by Marc Savlov
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
The origins of the iconic Amazon princess

Oct. 13, 2017

Marshall
Supreme Court judge biopic has bite

Oct. 13, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve, Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)