Reviews: Johnny Mnemonic


This one's odd for me.

I remember really enjoying this the first time, but I must have been sick and out of it or something because...

It's really not very good. I think there are still a few fun things in it, namely the monowhip wielding Yakuza guy and Keanu's hilarious 'first world problems' speech, but I can't for the life of me work out what made me love it.

...yeah. Not recommended, but you might want to look up Keanu's melt down. It truly is a thing of glory.


Cyberpunk the Movie

I loved this film. Not just as a sci-fi film but as a general display of the cyberpunk genre. A dystopian future that is largely controlled by Mega Corporations. The film is pretty easy to follow thanks to the lead in and steady chain of appropriate reveals keep everything tied together.

From taking the obviously risky job to Johnny checking every corner he can to solve his troubles and running from ones he didn't know he had until they drop into his lap the film is pretty easy to follow from start to finish.

While certain aspects of the movie were certainly predictable there were still enough surprises to keep it interesting.

The characters are all great as is assorted bits of tech that show up. The laser/monofilament whip was pretty cool as was the smart metal coil/knife whip of the body guard. The mix of low tech and high tech was done rather well for the film. The cyber space scenes while using dated graphics were still pretty cool and reasonably well done. The Yakuza assassin, the street preacher, the body guards, the shady dealers/brokers, and even Johnny himself as a courier were all pretty interesting characters in and of themselves.

I only had problems with two parts of the movie. The first really isn't the films fault. Namely the reference to gigabytes of data as being a large amount of data. This is an artifact of the era the film was made in. I found the dated view to more amusing then a serious issue.

The only part of the film I really had any real issues with was the very end where the tower is on fire. It didn't take very long and no insight is given into how it could so quickly go up in flames. Kinda odd but not the biggest issue to show in a movie.

Johnny Moronic, More Like It

Early in the film is a moment where Ice-T appears, looking the audience straight in the eye, and refers to everyone as "zombies" and encourages all to "snatch back [their] brain[s]". If an audience were to actually heed his advice, there would be no one left to finish watching this movie.

What an unintentionally hilarious movie like Commando achieves with a lack of Continuity, Johnny Mnemonic achieves much of the same with a lack of a logically coherent plot structure. The movie plays out as if a bundle of science fiction and action movie cliches were assembled together without real rhyme, reason, or consideration for other parts of the same puzzle. The end result is straw capitalist villains with motivations that are counterintuitive to actually making any money, an allied guerilla resistance hiding "like rats in the walls" that actually bunches together in a single group in one major location (making them less of a threat), and an unsympathetic hero who is constantly trying to play both sides in some bizarre scheme that is never properly explained to us (and never makes a lick of sense, anyway).

The problem isn't even the fact that this being a 90's movie means some stuff in the movie about the future is going to feel "out of date" (although much of it does), the problem is that the filmmakers fumble with the whole lot of what they had available and ended up with a faulty story riddled with more holes than an average slice of swiss cheese and a lamebrain hero who can never make the only logical choice he can make for himself until the last possible minute.

If you're into flawed B-movies and crappy sci-fi and the like, then I can certainly guarantee that you'll be in for quite an experience with incessant plot stupidity and the mess of B-list talent that fills out the entire cast. If not, there are far better movies out there for you to take seriously.