YMMV Johnny Mnemonic Discussion

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06:16:16 AM Sep 28th 2015
To avoid an edit war regarding "why won't Pharma Kom just shoot Johnny in the head":

The "bad Japanese" scene reveals that Johnny's head is the only surviving backup of the Pharma Kom mainframe. The guys that stole the data deleted the original, so that's why Takahashi wants his head: to restore the backup. The cure is the hackers' motovation, not the company's. Johnny is bargaining with them for the same reason, he might be an idiot, but he's not THAT much of an idiot, he can hold his own head hostage against them, or so he thinks.
08:48:41 AM Sep 28th 2015
edited by SeanMurrayI
This page is designated YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY for a reason. You may not fully agree with everything, but that doesn't mean you get to delete the viewpoints and arguments that you disagree with.

The only data stolen and wiped from PharmaKom pertains to the cure. In the very same expository scene being brought up, Shinji is deliberately vague with details, and Takahashi at one point asks Shinji what was the nature pertaining to the very specific data that was stolen, and Shinji refuses to divulge this information. It's suggested that Shinji is already aware of the research on a working cure for NAS that was stolen, and he doesn't want Takahashi to know that such a thing even existed in the time before his daughter passed away from the illness. The only thing Johnny is carrying is the last remaining copy of the data on an NAS cure, and PharmaKom itself has no intended use for this data. The single rational reason to preserve the information in Johnny's head and keep the cure for themselves would be if the corporation intends to use or distribute the information to turn a profit or protect themselves from the NAS plague... yet they don't even want use the cure to help the child of one of their own ranking executives when she gets sick. Therefore, the data itself would be of no greater use to the corporation, if they just as well could have set out to destroy Johnny's head, rather than capture it, bury it and make it "gone forever" (Spider's words); either method would achieve the same desired outcome for the bad guys, and destroying Johnny's head would have been far easier to accomplish. From this, it can also be understood that the bad guys could logically suppress this information without having to be held for ransom and just kill Johnny, who is never shown to have any reason to expect that the bad guys are interested in making any kind of "deal" with him; PharmaKom only talks to Johnny to deceptively arrange a location where they can try and take what they want by force.

Nonetheless, the point is that there is a valid argument to be made, however contrary to what you'd like to think, and that still gives it a place on a page designated YMMV.

And taking it upon yourself to arbitrarily delete items you don't like from YMMV pages (without first settling the issue you want to raise here) is not how to best avoid an edit war.
11:03:00 AM Oct 5th 2015
It would seem the dialogue changes between cuts of the movie? The Superbit version rather clearly has Shinji mention that Johhny has the company's ENTIRE backup in his head, which renders the point of "off with his head" moot -> they want it not just for the cure. The cure is the motivation for why it was stolen, the rest is petty vengeance.

And, as I mentioned in the edit reason, when I outlined my point of view in the actual YMMV page by adding an extra bullet point, it got removed as "not pertaining to the discussion" despite being a clarification of this argument. Rather than edit my stuff back in, I assumed the prudent option would be to remove the complaint about how this plot point doesn't make sense, hence the creation of this thread. Either the existing entry has to be re-worded by someone less crufty than I am, or the point should remain deleted, because it's NOT a plot hole.
01:37:29 PM Oct 5th 2015
edited by SeanMurrayI
Your argument was deleted because there's a notice at the very top of the YMMV page explaining that TV Tropes doesn't want people arguing or debating other people's opinions on the page ("...[N]ot 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.") That's why we've moved this over to here.

And no one called this point a "plot hole". They called it "idiocy", in their personal view, hence why the item is listed under Idiot Plot.

Back to the narrative, Shinji explains that the courier is carrying the backup data of only the material that was stolen, which is never described as encompassing the entire PharmaKom computer mainframe. Shinji reports to Takahashi that there was a theft by company "traitors" that pertains to very specific data, and these traitors "wiped" what was specifically stolen. When Takahashi asks for elaboration on this specific data that was stolen (His exact question: "What is the nature of this data?"), Shinji answers, "I am not at liberty to say."

Question: Why would Shinji avoid giving Takahashi a straight answer to his question in the first place, if Shinji could have truthfully answered, "Everything"? (Conversely: How moronic is it for a ranking corporate executive to be asking, "What is the nature of this data?" if ALL his company's digitally stored information disappeared?)

Easy Answer: Because not "everything" was stolen from PharmaKom. Johnny's head solely contains far more particular information taken from the company that Shinji doesn't want Takahashi to know about after he lost his daughter to the NAS plague, and that much should be obvious.

Furthermore, Spider later reveals in the most explicit language possible that Johnny is carrying "PharmaKom's complete R&D on their cure for Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, plus the records from the field trials to prove that it works." No mention is made of any other Pharmakom property, because there isn't anything else in Johnny's head and because nothing else would be relevant to the story that is told. To enforce this point, this scene ends with the Street Preacher hired by the corporation to retrieve Johnny's head bursting in screaming, "The cure is mine!" Nothing to say about retrieving entire company data.

Even J-Bone announces to the world at the movie's climax that that the LoTeks are about to broadcast information on "the cure to NAS" straight from Johnny's head. That's it. Nothing is said here, either, about PharmaKom's complete computer mainframe because there's still no other PharmaKom data, apart from the NAS cure, to speak of inside Johnny's head.

And at another point in the movie, Takahashi is able to access a company file on Anna Kalmann (Former CEO-turned-Artificial Intelligence) and learns from it that she became an AI program that's also stored on the PharmaKom computer mainframe. If what you are arguing were true, then this would be evidence of a number of glaring, actual Plot Holes, as (1) it should have been completely impossible for Takahashi to access such information himself, if ALL of PharmaKom's computer files were only inside Johnny's head, which the corporation had not managed to retrieve, and (2) the AI character appearing in the movie should have been "burned out of the PharmaKom mainframe" long before the conclusion of the film when she finally dies. The only way Takahashi could have accessed this company data and the AI stored on the same system could exist as a character in the movie is if they were never erased by the corporate defectors in the first place, and the only information they made off with was the NAS cure, which they passed on to Johnny.

No matter what cut of the film you watch, all of this detail remains exactly the same.

As the page item already lists, Johnny's head contains the world's only copy of information on a working NAS cure, and the bad guys who just want to bury it in the sand and do nothing with it can easily suppress this information with a bullet between his eyes, instead of making it any bit more complicated than that like a bunch of idiots, hence Idiot Plot. That's it, and it can't possibly be any clearer.

There's no point in arguing the possibility of all other/any other PharmaKom data in Johnny head, otherwise the plot makes less sense, creates more unanswerable problems in the narrative, and leaves us even more we could write about Aborted Arcs and Plot Holes elsewhere in the film, anyway.
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