The third and final prequel to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is here and it helps fill in the gaps between Ridley Scott’s 1982 original and Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel. Thirty long years have passed in this reality and the Tyrell Corporation has fallen, allowing the Wallace Corporation, run by Niander Wallace (Jared Leto’s character in ‘2049’). But what happened?
Written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (‘Cowboy Bebop’), chronologically ‘Black Out 2022’ is actually the first of the three prequels. After that come the two previously released shorts. First is ‘2036: Nexus Dawn’ directed by Ridley’s son Luke Scott, focusing on Niander Wallace. Also from Luke Scott is ‘2048: Nowehere to Run’, showcasing Dave Bautista’s Sapper (who makes a brief animated cameo in ‘2022’).
As shown in ‘2022’, humans use the Replicant Registration database to hunt down and exterminate all artificial humanoids, in violent and brutal manners, stringing up their dead bodies for all to see. A group of replicants plans to strike back.
The short mainly focuses on two replicants, the girlish-but-deadly Trixie and her protector Iggy. The two of them and their allies plan to detonate a missile over Los Angeles, unleashing an electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all electricity. They must also eliminate all backup generators.
The animation is absolutely lush despite the brutal subject matter. The music is provided by two Grammy nominees. The score is by Flying Lotus (a.k.a. Steven Ellison) who has contributed music to Cartoon Network for Adult Swim and ‘Adventure Time’ and contributed to other live action and animated works, as well as video games including ‘Grand Theft Auto V’. He has also collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock and Mac Miller among others. The original song ‘Almost Human’ is by contemporary Christian artist Lauren Daigle, who may be remembered for auditioning for ‘American Idol’.
Overall, the project has higher production values than many full-length anime films and TV shows. Obviously, it’s quite a departure from Luke Scott’s live action clips, not to mention the films, but strangely ‘2022’ still fits the nightmarish future of ‘Blade Runner’.
What do you think? Does this, or any of the other prequel shorts, make you more or less anxious to see ‘Blade Runner 2049’?
‘Blade Runner 2049’, directed by Denis Villeneuve, stars Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Edward James Olmos and Mackenzie Davis with Harrison Ford. It arrives on October 6, 2017.