Review: 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017)

2048: Nowhere to Run (2017)

Directed by: Luke Scott | 5 minutes | short film, action | Actors: Dave Bautista, Gerard Miller, Bijan Daneshmand, Gaia Ottman, Orion Ben, Adam Savage, Paris Stangl, Björn Freiberg

Leading up to ‘Blade Runner 2049’, three short cutscenes were distributed showing some key moments between the original ‘Blade Runner’ (set in 2019) and its sequel. Namely: ‘Blade Runner: Black Out 2022’ (director: Shinichiro Watanabe), ‘2036: Nexus Down’ (director: Luke Scott) and ‘2048: Nowhere to Run’ (again director: Luke Scott). The shorts have been added to the home video releases of the film for more depth.

The second of the Luke Scott-directed shorts, ‘2048: Nowhere to Run’ introduces you to Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and explains how he got hunted at the beginning of ‘Blade Runner 2049’. In five minutes Morton evolves from mild-mannered bookworm to stone-cold killer. And it is entirely to Bautista’s credit that this is presented credibly. Because just like with ‘2036: Nexus Dawn’ the script (strangely enough again written by Hampton Fancher) is quite simplistic.

The depth of Morton’s character is interesting, but above all this short shows how unfortunate it is that so little is done with him in ‘Blade Runner 2049’. Just like in ‘Black Out 2022’, a replicant is shown here who just wants to be left alone, but is forced by circumstances to take up the (proverbial or not) weapons. His role could be deepened much further.

The shorts perfectly match the aesthetics of the original ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’. The story mainly takes place on the market and, just like in the films, it is mainly dark here and there are all kinds of strange characters walking around. But somehow it also makes Luke Scott’s shorts a bit boring. Visually, he does not put his own stamp on it, while Watanabe does show his own interpretation in ‘Black Out 2022’. As with ‘2036: Nexus Dawn’, therefore also applies here: informative, not necessarily very interesting. However, due to the beautiful role of Bautista, these shorts have an advantage.

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