Freejack (1992)

I saw Freejack in the theater nearly thirty years ago and have to tell you, the future that it promised has not arrived.

Does it have the title of a Philip K. Dick book but not really have much to do with it?

No, it’s based on his contemporary Robert Sheckley’s* book Immortality, Inc.

Is there a lot of rain?

Oh man, blame it on the rain.

Does the male hero wear dress clothes and/or a trenchcoat?

Nope.

Do Keanu Reeves, Ben Affleck, Dolph Lundgren or Udo Keir appear in it?

Strangely, no.

Does the internet do something it can’t do yet, yet look dated AF?

This movie looked dated the moment it came out. The video game that Jagger plays in the bar would have been dated during the Atari 2600 era.

Are Stabbing Westward, KMFDM, Ministry or God Lives Underwater on the soundtrack?

This movie has a bonkers soundtrack with Little Feat, Scorpions, Jesus Jones, Jane Child, The Jesus and Mary Chain and — you knew it — Ministry performing “Thieves.”

Is it a crappy version of Blade Runner?

Not really.

Are there numerous Asian-influenced scenes?

Throughout!

Do people use future terms that make no sense?

Even the name of the movie is a future term that makes no sense.

Are there a lot of whirring sound effects?

It’s as if the Transformers are constantly transforming.

Do people stare at the camera as it moves through a neon-lit strip club?

Yes.

Are there rock stars in it?

Not just the biggest rock star of all time — arguably — in Mick Jagger, but also New York Doll David Johansen AKA Buster Poindexter, who if I think about long enough, I begin speaking like him. “Zat you, Zantee Claus?”

Is there a feral child?

Nope. That means that this movie is officially a cyberpunk ancient future movie!

Get ready for the crazy future words!

In 2009 — which is now 12 years ago and the irony is not lost on me — the super-wealthy use bonejackers that snatch people from the past and pull them to the future to use their brain dead bodies to become immortal. Those that escape from this process are no longer considered human and are instead called freejacks. And everyone else is so hooked on drugs and beaten by pollution that they’re all unattractive and basically dying.

Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez) was a Formula 1 racer who died in an explosive crash back in 1991 but has been bonejacked by Victor Vacendak (Jagger), a killing machine for the McCandless Corporation. Oh yeah — his girlfriend Julie Redlund (Rene Russo) works there too because movie logic.

It turns out that her boss (Anthony Hopkins) is really dead and wanted to use Furlong’s body because, well, again let’s blame movie logic.

Of course, Jagger is the main reason to watch this. He got his girl at the time Jerry Hall — who is amazingly married to Rupert Murdoch today — a role, has a code of honor in spite of being the bad guy and wears a ridiculous helmet. Every time I see him, I think of how he responded to John Mulaney writing lines for him on SNL: “Good! Bad!”

I kind of wish that Jagger’s Vacendak was the hero of this movie, because everyone else in this is boring by comparison.

This movie was a mess and at one point it may have been an even bigger one. Producer Ronald Shusett (the writer of Alien, Dead and BuriedThe Final TerrorKing Kong LivesTotal Recall) was brought in to re-shoot around 40% of original director Geoff Murphy’s (Young Guns IIUnder Siege 2: Dark TerritoryFortress 2) film.

*Other Sheckley movie adaptions include CondormanThe 10th VictimDead Run and Escape from Hell Island.

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