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New Blade Runner 2049 short film finally gives Bautista a chance to shine

Drax this is not.

Bautista in Blade Runner 2049 Warner Bros.

Dave Bautista, the professional wrestler-turned-action-star, is a good actor, but his talents are underused. As Drax in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Bautista is never more than the a supporting act to help deliver the punchline. In a new short film published today ahead of Blade Runner 2049’s release, Bautista finally gets his chance to demonstrate what he’s capable of.

[Warning: The following may contain spoilers for Blade Runner 2049.]

“2048: Nowhere to Run” takes place one year before the events of Blade Runner 2049. The short film focuses on Sapper, a man who is trying to make it through life day-by-day without turning back to his old ways. In the short, we’re introduced to both the gentle nature of Sapper and the violence he’s capable of when set off.

The short film is interesting on its own, but should be given special credit for giving Bautista a role to shine in. He morphs from the gentle soul we’re introduced to at the beginning of the short into the violent man we see at the very end.

“2048: Nowhere to Run” is the newest short film that Warner Bros. has published ahead of Blade Runner 2049’s release. It’s directed by Luke Scott, who also helmed “2036: Nexus Dawn,” which focused on Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace. Scott told Polygon that having these prologues-of-sorts released before Blade Runner 2049 helps with expanding the feature’s story.

“It helps evolve original scripts of movies,” Scott said. “It’s sort of cheating. It fills in the gaps where the narrator doesn’t have to worry about the genesis of the narrative. You could rely possibly on these short films and other assets that roll a few weeks before the main event to do that part of the storytelling for the director.”

Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking sci-fi film from 1982. The film takes place 30 years after the events in the original. A new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer K, must find Rick Deckard after unearthing a secret that could destroy society as they know it.

Blade Runner 2049 will be released on Oct. 6.

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