Instead of endless spoiler-filled trailers, Ridley Scott likes to push short online film prequels. He did so with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, and he does so again here, in a film he didn’t direct but was indeed involved with. It’s actually his son that directed this prequel, and the one chronologically after it too.
The direction is not great. It’s choppy, and doesn’t utilise the set or the cast in any great way. It covers an event the opening text in the actual feature film of Blade Runner 2049 could cover easily, or better yet, simply be part of the natural worldbuilding of the film. I almost think drawing attention to the issue of replicant legality in the decades between the two feature films makes it more confusing than just progressing the world without elaboration.
Jared Leto’s very particular performance doesn’t always work tonally in the film itself, and if Villeneuve couldn’t always keep a steady hold of it, Luke Scott didn’t have much of a chance either. The music, a much more amateur affair than Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s work on the actual sequel film, doesn’t help matters much either, although there is something of a distinctive piano cue.
Really, this just feels unnecessary though, and not as professional as the actual sequel film. I’m intrigued by the idea of prequel films as marketing and a sort of sidestepped way to worldbuild, but this wasn’t a particularly successful attempt to me. Two shards of glass, and a pair of contact lenses.