These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Johnny Mnemonic
Anticlimax Boss: The Street Preacher is eventually defeated by the dolphin, of all things.
After leaving the nightclub through a back alleyway once Jane saves Johnny from being decapitated, Jane stops briefly to search through a pile of garbage bags for a duffel bag, telling Johnny that she is looking for her "gear". Only problem is that there is no reason given why such a bag was left there, as it was never established beforehand that she hides her equipment here, anyway; given that she had no foreknowledge of Johnny or what would be happening to him later at the nightclub, it seems unlikely that she would have been planning on coming by that alleyway again later and needing any equipment left there. Given that she had already been shown receiving some of her equipment from the nightclub's bartender, it makes less sense for Jane to have not let the bartender hold onto all of her equipment. Or, better yet, she could have just been carrying all her things in the small duffel bag all along from the start.
Johnny's ability to "double himself" when "hacking his own brain", which is essentially shown to involve duplicating both his digital avatar and mental consciousness, is not pre-established before this segment of the story, and comes across as a poor, impossible to anticipate resolution of events when this ability is the only reason why Johnny was able to survive the dangerous hacking process that everyone warns would likely kill him.note Although the reason for Johnny "doubling himself" differs, depending on the cut of the film you are watching (in the American/International cut, it helps Johnny survive a lethal attack from a computer virus; in the Japanese cut, it helps Johnny survive "looping" the final image of the download code through Jones), the end result is still a complicated measure with unique and unusual implications that go without explanation occurring just to write the hero out of a corner when he's supposed to be in a near-certain death scenario.
In the Japanese cut, this sudden ability of Johnny's is established even less than in the American cut, as the entire hacking sequence in this edit of the film is presented without J-Bone tossing out nuggets of exposition to help the audience to try and make any sense of what's going on.
Johnny's escape from the Beijing Hotel, after Shinji and his goons raid the suite where Johnny was meeting his clients, involves producing some kind of hat out of nowhere while running down a stairwell, which somehow transforms Johnny's appearance and teleports him into an elevator. This entire sequence of shots is so confusing that many first-time viewers initially mistake the disguised Johnny for a new character being introduced in the story.
Designated Hero: Throughout the entire movie, Johnny is completely self-absorbed and unsympathetic, as well as totally unheroic, and yet he's supposed to be viewed as a hero protagonist. He constantly whines to other people that they’re not doing enough to solve his own problems. He informs the Yakuza of the location of LoTek Headquarters. He prepares to abandon Jane when she gets sick (after she’s saved his life more than once). And, most of all, Johnny never places a higher value on the information in his head (which could save the lives of millions) than on his own life.
Dude, Not Funny!: We meet the biggest idiot in The LoTeks' faction in the middle of telling an odd story about trying to have sex with someone who has an unspecified "disability." It's intended to be amusing, but it mostly comes off as incredibly awkward for a number of reasons.
Ending Fatigue: After the climatic battle at Heaven, the story suddenly slows to a crawl and just can't finish fast enough. Owing to a large part of the problem is that after the fighting is over, Johnny still has to retrieve the final image of the download code in yet another extended sequence, but with all of the major threats Johnny and his friends had to deal with having already been defeated, the entire sequence is nowhere near as suspenseful or exciting as the one which preceded it. Even when the filmmakers try to build up a sense of risk (Johnny has to be careful of computer viruses, he can die from just attempting this, anyway, etc.), by this point, with all of the more serious threats to Johnny already out of the picture, we as an audience no longer willingly believe that Johnny is in any legitimate danger, and the entire hacking sequence becomes entirely drawn out, as we can already figure out what the outcome is going to be, and we don't want to have to keep waiting to get to that eventual outcome. By this point, even the subversion of Not Quite Dead with the Street Preacher feels more like drawn-out Padding at a point when a story is completely over and the credits can start rolling than it does feel like a "clever" joke.
The bad guys looking to suppress the the data stored in Johnny's headnote That they have no intention of using in any way themselves are, for some reason, bent on specifically cutting off Johnny's head and cryogenically freezing it so they can "extract" the data later. But if they have no intention of using the data and are even willing to let the head honcho's daughter (who could have been helped by the data) die, rather than share it, why do they even bother to seek to keep it? Just shoot Johnny in the head and be done with it.
Johnny also gets the bright idea that the data in his head is "worth a lot of money," despite the fact that neither party that wants the data is in any position to either get any money or make any money from it; one side wants to suppress the data and let nobody have it (no money in that), and the other wants to give it away for free (no money made doing that, either). The only excuse would be if Johnny tried to sell it to a third party, like another drug company that would be willing to produce the cure for the public, but he just keeps going back to the bad guys expecting cooperation.
At the end, the good guys decide to just broadcast the data around the world so that it can't be suppressed. In that case, the guys who originally had it at the beginning of the movie could have just spammed it all over the Internet.
Despite having had several opportunities to speak with him, the electronic ghost woman seemingly waits to tell Takahashi flat out, plain as day, exactly what he needs to hear ( that the courier he is after has something that could have saved his daughter's life, that the corporation he works for is responsible for her death) until he is about to kill Johnny. Talk about waiting until the last minute.
If Johnny didn't blow all his cash on room service, $10000-a-night hookers, etc., then he might have saved enough money to get his memory back. Or at least upgrade his memory implant to 320 GB.
The original short story features two towering club bouncers who are described as perfectly identical women, except that one is jet black, the other is stark white, and no one can remember which one was originally male. In the text it's pretty creepy. These characters appear as Ralfi's bodyguards in the film, but they come off as a bull dyke and a drag queen.
Jones is a cyborg dolphin. And, for those of you watching the Japanese cut or reading the novel, Jones is a cyborg dolphin with a drug addiction.
Among the extras in the nightclub when Jane tries to find work as a bodyguard with Ralfi are two beefy, oiled, shirtless men in S & M gear repeatedly grappling with each other in... some kind of performance show that absolutely nobody else in the nightclub is paying attention to.
Johnny's childhood memories reveal his mother to be the person who became the Electronic Ghost Woman.One critic wrote of this, "...[I]t wouldn’t surprise me. It seems like the sort of ridiculous thing they’d throw in here to ‘tie’ the movie together. Despite that fact that it would make no sense whatsoever."
The identity of Jones is kept a big secret for much of the second half of the movie, and it keeps getting built up as if it's going to be a big reveal, only for it to turn out that Jones is a cyborg dolphin.
The "Street Preacher" being run over by Spider's van is clearly a mannequin dummy dressed up as the character.
Similarly, the prop bodies that fall from LoTeks' base into the body of water below float as soon as they hit it. A falling shipping crate digitally added over a shot of Shinji's decapitated body falling into the water is supposed to hide this, but it doesn't cover his severed head, which can be seen conspicuously and inexplicablynote Apart from the obvious, cynical excuse about it being a stage prop. staying afloat.
Several guns and firearms used by characters are actually paintball guns. Brand names of several paintball makers are visible on several occasions , and one can often see CO2 blasts when the guns are fired.
The pinball machine:
Awesome Music: Most of the music in the game, with the exception of...