Follow TV Tropes


Film / Freejack

Go To

A 1992 sci-fi film directed by Geoff Murphy, starring Emilio Estevez as Alex, Mick Jagger as Vacendak, Anthony Hopkins as McCandless, and Rene Russo as Julie. The film is a dystopic Cyberpunk film very loosely based on Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley.

The plot revolves around Alex Furlong, a race-car driver in 1991 who, seconds before a horrific car crash that would kill him instantly, is transported to the far-flung and horrifically Dystopian Cyberpunk Polluted Wasteland future of... umm, New York 2009, where he discovers his body is to be harvested to ensure the survival of dying billionaire Ian McCandless, and must evade McCandless' mercenaries led by Vacendak.

Provides examples of:

  • Acoustic License: Alex's drunken ranting is overheard by a news crew from across the floor of a nightclub with pounding music. They then interview him at the bar with no problem.
  • Artificial Afterlife: The "Spiritual Switchboard" is a computer system that allows the rich to keep their minds alive after death. The catch is that the system can only support them for a few days at most, so these rich men are turning to pulling a Grand Theft Me and putting their minds into new bodies.
  • Badass Driver: Alex's skills as a race car driver come in handy in a major car chase scene in the middle act, with him managing to outrace several of Vacendak's squad's pursuit vehicles with a wine transport truck.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. We never see Alex reload the futuristic Glock he's given earlier in the film, but by the climax he checks how many bullets he has left and discovers there's only one round remaining.
  • Chase Scene: A car chase is had with Vacendak trying to capture Alex.
  • Church Militant: The sweary, blasphemous nun. Played by Amanda Plummer.
  • Crapsack World: Pure 1980s cyberpunk-style hyper-polluted, drug-filled and super-tech-used-for-evil world. As one of Alex's friends tells him while explaining the whole "freejack" thing, the reason why rich people pluck victims out of the past and not just nab someone in the present for their Grand Theft Me scheme is because everybody's bodies are too screwed up in 2009.
  • Fanservice Extra: A girl walks by in a bar whose "shirt" consists of a few small tattoos.
  • Grand Theft Me: McCandless has Alex kidnapped for this purpose.
  • I Lied: Delivered with scene-chewing glee by Mick Jagger.
  • I Want My Jet Pack: The setting is the far-off time of 2009.
  • Inside a Computer System: Rich dead people's death is postponed for three days by planting their consciousness into "The Spiritual Switchboard".
  • Let Off by the Detective: After the film’s climax, Vacendak reveals that he was fully aware of Furlong’s deception attempt.
  • May–December Romance: Alex and Julie. Justified in how Julie has aged between 1991 and 2009.
  • Mercy Lead: Vacendak gives Alex a five minute start when he saves Vacendak's life.
  • Never Found the Body: Alex's status when he is taken from the past, much to his manager Carter's dismay as he couldn't collect the life insurance on him.
  • Noble Demon: Vacendak.
  • One Bullet Left: When Alex and Julie realize that Michelette's men are going to kill them when their elevator arrives at the lobby, Alex notes that he has only one bullet. He then jokes that their killers might get into a line.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: At the end, when Vacendak realizes his boss McCandless failed to transfer his mind to Alex's body and is therefore truly dead, the mercenary is content to let Alex take over McCandless's life.
  • Showing Off the New Body: When McCandless' mind is downloaded into Alex Furlong's body. Though Alex is just faking it.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: As Alex Furlong is being told by his former representative what a "freejack" means (that Furlong was kidnapped from the past by a rich person in order to upload their mind into his brain and continue living), Alex asks why the heck the rich people don't just take people off the street for that purpose, and Alex's friend shows him the slum they are now in and explains that the future world has been such a polluted mess and people have been using drugs for so long that it's virtually impossible to find someone healthy enough for the upload, so stealing people from the past is the only real option for this scheme.
  • Taking You with Me: Fatally wounded Boone blows himself up, taking several mercenaries with him.
  • Time Travel Escape: Alex is taken from the timestream moments before his historical death in a horrific car crash, so no one would miss him. Of course, Alex is hardly being "rescued" so much as "harvested", but the net result is the same.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: While the movie tries to keep McCandless's villainy as a surprise, the trailers reject that notion.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: "The Good Lord always says to turn the other cheek." *Groin Attack* "But he never had to deal with dickheads like you."
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Funnily enough, 2009 looks far more like The '80s than the turn of the millennium. Particularly when looking at the hairdos of the extras.
  • Villain Respect: After Alex successfully outmaneuvers Vacendak's mercenaries in their specialized vehicles, while driving a wine truck, he and Vacendak have this exchange:
    Alex: How'm I doing?
    Vacendak: *Looking back* Not bad.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Inevitably, a gigantic electronic one on the side of a skyscraper.
  • We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: An advertisement for Dial A Suicide can be seen at one stage.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Alex gets a pep talk from a homeless bum after his dive in the river.
    Eagle Man: Have you ever seen an eagle flying back to his home with dinner for the missus and all the little eagle babies? And he's flying against the wind and he's flying in the rain and he's flying through bullets and all kinds of hell, and then right at that moment when he's about to get back to his nest, he says, "What the fuck, it's a drag being an eagle" and right then two little X's comes across his eyes just like in the old fashion cartoons. And he goes plunging down, and down and down and BAM. He's just a splatter of feathers and then we don't have the National Bird of America no more. Did you ever see that?
    Alex: No.
    Eagle Man: Me neither. The eagle's got too much self-respect for that.