Blade Runner

Blade Runner – The Final Cut breakdown

In a dystopian future, Deckard is a retired cop who finds and terminates runaway replicants, the android workers built to do work humans don’t want to do. He’s called back for one last quadruple execution.

Many years ago, I did a commentary for this movie.

I’m breaking down movies by their three-act structure. What is three-act structure? I explain it here.

Note: I break the story down into five-minute blocks to make it easier to see the length of each section. Rough time codes follow.


Narration: Tyrell replicants need to be terminated. 5

Act 1

Leon shoots the replicant test’s examiner (introducing the central conflict). Deckard is “arrested” by Gaff. 10

Deckard is forced by Bryant to take the job to hunt Nexus 6 replicants Leon, Roy, Pris, and Zhora (introducing the rest of the villains). 15

Deckard tests Tyrell’s assistant, Rachael. 20

Rachael is a Nexus 6 with implanted memories. Deckard searches Leon’s apartment and finds photos and an animal scale. 25

Roy and Leon force Chew to tell them JF Sebastian has the information they want. 30

Act 2

Rachel tries to prove she’s human. Deckard proves she’s not. 35

Pris cons JF Sebastian into taking her in. 40

Deckard analyzes Leon’s photos and sees Zhora. 45

Deckard tracks the animal scale to a club but learns little. 50

Deckard finds Zhora in the club and gets attacked. 55

Deckard chases and kills Zhora. 60

Midpoint Crisis

Deckard is told he must also terminate Rachael because she has run away. (Zhora’s awful death and the prospect of killing Rachael the same way is a crisis of conscience for Deckard.) 65

Leon tries to kill Deckard. Rachael kills Leon. 70

Deckard promises not to hunt Rachael. 75

Deckard and Rachael fall for each other. 80

Roy and Pris confront Tyrell and find there is no way to extend their lives. 85

Roy kills Tyrell. Deckard goes to Sebastian’s apartment. 90

Deckard fights Pris. Her death throes horrify him. (Every success is a failure for Deckard. He is horrified by who he has become. This and Roy’s heartbreak over Pris are his emotional bottom.) 95

Act 3

Malfunctioning, Roy hunts Deckard in Sebastian’s building. 100

Roy chases Deckard onto the roof in the rain. 105

Roy saves Deckard from falling and talks about dying. He shuts down. 110

Deckard retrieves Rachael so they can flee together. 115

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *