New 'Blade Runner 2049' Prequel Short Shows Dave Bautista Busting Heads

Thursday, 14 September 2017 - 7:34PM
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
Thursday, 14 September 2017 - 7:34PM
New 'Blade Runner 2049' Prequel Short Shows Dave Bautista Busting Heads
Warner Bros.
Dave Bautista isn't an actor who is known for playing subtle, quiet, understated characters that are filled with nuance and depth. After all, he's Drax.

This isn't his fault at all - it's just that, up until now, he's mostly been known for wrestling, where every action has to be big and bold so as to be easily distinguishable to a large crowd, and for playing Drax the Destroyer, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get alien who views subtext as a dirty word. True, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gave Bautista an opportunity to show some emotion, but he's not yet really had an opportunity to give a serious performance that shows off his acting range.

In all the excitement surrounding Blade Runner 2049, with its flashy trailers filled with practical effects and haunting music, it's easy to overlook the occasional appearance of Bautista. For some reason, the movie's marketing has been making a much bigger deal of the presence of Jared Leto in the movie - no doubt because he's the (alleged) villain of the piece - while almost entirely skipping past the other big comic book movie star that's going to show up.

All this has changed with the release of the second of three promotional prequel clips designed to introduce viewers to the world and characters of Blade Runner 2049. Finally, we get a good look at Dave Bautista's character, a likely replicant named "Sapper," and it seems that what he's doing is pretty darn impressive. See the whole thing below, with an intro from 2049 director Denis Villeneuve (although Ridley Scott's son, Luke Scott, is directing these shorts):




It's weird that Bautista hasn't been called upon to play a gentle giant up until this point in his career - looking at the way he carries himself in this short video, it seems like the most natural choice in the world. Perhaps it's the teeny tiny glasses, or the way Bautista hangs his shoulders in a futile attempt to blend into a crowd that he stands head and shoulders above, but whatever it is, he really pulls it off. In just a few short scenes, Bautista communicates everything we need to know about this guy. He's quiet, unassuming, beaten down, affectionate, and deadly. Very, very deadly.

You can almost understand why the people of the Blade Runner universe are so suspicious of replicants, when people like this exist as a potential threat. At the same time, violent murderer or no, you can't help but feel deeply for Bautista's character, who if the opening is any indication is suffering from some form of post traumatic stress or other similar anxiety.

A lot of noise has been made in the press recently about how kooky Jared Leto was on the set of this movie yet again - this time, apparently, he deliberately blinded himself with opaque contact lenses in order to give his "performance" at a blind businessman more realism. That's nice and all, but comparing this new short with the first one that heavily features Leto, the best performance of the two definitely goes to Bautista - especially considering that he didn't need to resort to a weird method acting trick in order to turn in such a heart-wrenching piece.

While not much has been made of Bautista in the marketing for 2049, this short makes it abundantly clear that his performance is likely going to be one of the best parts of the movie. Plus, at some point we're almost definitely going to see him fight tiny stick-man Ryan Gosling, and it's going to be gloriously violent. That's worth the price of admission alone.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
No