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YMMV / Johnny Mnemonic

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The film:

  • Anticlimax Boss: The Street Preacher is eventually defeated by the dolphin, of all things.
  • Anvilicious: Corporate pharmaceutical companies are evil and exploiting sick people for money!
  • Ass Pull:
    • 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.
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    • 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 
      • 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.
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    • 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.
    • Shinji's laser whip, portrayed at all other times as being able to cut through absolutely anything, at one point is stifled by a flimsy chain link gate, which the movie doesn't even try to explain.
  • Awesome Music: The American release has some good compositions from Brad Fiedel, who composed the music for the first two Terminator films, among others.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Johnny's interactions with the twin girls by the gigantic fish bowl in the hotel lobby.
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  • Designated Hero: Throughout the entire movie, Johnny is completely self-absorbed and unsympathetic. 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. And yet he's supposed to be viewed as a hero protagonist deserving of our sympathy for being caught up in this narrative, instead of enjoying a club sandwich and hooker.
  • Ending Fatigue: After the climatic battle at Heaven, the story suddenly slows to a crawl and just can't finish fast enough. The Virtual Ghost character is given a parting speech in which she needlessly repeats exposition that is already easily understood by viewers ("The dolphin can take you into the data. Find the third image."), and Johnny still has to retrieve the final image of the download code in yet another extended sequence. However, with all of the major threats that 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 in the absence of all other previously established threats (Johnny has to be careful of computer viruses, he can die from just attempting this, anyway, etc.), by this point, 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 it. Then, after that much is over, 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.
  • Funny Moments: Aside from the film's Narm Charm, one scene that stands out is Shinji reporting to Takahashi. The two men converse briefly in Japanese, before Takahashi declares that Shinji's Japanese is terrible, and insists that he speak English for the rest of the conversation (funnier if you realize Shinji's actor, Denis Akiyama, was born in Canada.)
  • Genius Bonus: A Japanese character viewable during our first glimpse of "Internet 2021" (found directly above the words "Internet 2021") is a character very rarely seen in Japanese languagenote . It's pronounced "tou" or "kasa", meaning "hackneyed, cliched" in English. Very likely one of the graphic artists having a chuckle at the expense of the paymaster.
  • Ham and Cheese/Large Ham: Dolph Lundgren and Henry Rollins chew up the scenery big time. Arguably the best parts of the movie despite the mere minutes of screen time between them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Goes without saying.
    • The VR headset Johnny uses is called an Eyephone — and even more hilariously, iPhones can be used as VR headsets thanks to Google Cardboard.
    • Goes without saying again, now that it's been revealed that he is playing Johnny Silverhand.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The main character is never referred to as Johnny Mnemonic—he's just Johnny. Or "Just Johnny."
  • Idiot Ball:
    • For the sake of setting up the film's own climatic showdown between two warring factions, before Johnny goes and seeks help from the LoTeks (the good guys willing to help him), he telephones the evil Mega-Corp that intends to kill him in order to let them know where he is going and that he'll be meeting with their enemies. Even Jane calls him out on how stupid this is.
      • In order to set up this exact same situation, above, J-Bone at a much earlier point in the movie first had to personally reveal the location of the Lo-Tek headquarters to Johnny who, in the context of the story at this time, is a total stranger to J-Bone and is holding J-Bone up at gunpoint. In this situation, where J-Bone has little reason to believe Johnny could be trusted, and with the further consequences that this scene has, J-Bone's actions to divulge this important narrative exposition about his identity, his leadership status, and the location of his "secret headquarters" to anybody who'd threaten to shoot him dead could arguably appear even more irrational and idiotic.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • 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 climatic showdown between the Yakuza and LoTeks is all thanks to Johnny personally informing the bad guys of the location where he'd be be meeting Jones. Had Johnny have told them NOTHING, he would have gotten all the help that does receive from Jones without there being any disruption during the task.
    • The evil corporation spends its resources on a working cure for a deadly disease but then sits on it and does nothing with it—not even to save the lives of their own loved ones who are suffering from the disease—making this a massive waste of capital on a project that seems to exist only make these people look like douchebags. If they didn't want anybody to have a cure, they didn't need to make one or keep information about it on their computer mainframe.
    • The bad guys looking to suppress the the data stored in Johnny's headnote  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.
  • Narm:
    • "I WANT to get ON-line... I NEED a COMPUTER!"
    • "I WANT! ROOOOOM SEEEEERVICE! I WANT THE CLUB SANDWICH! I WANT THE COLD MEXICAN BEER! I WANT A TEN-THOUSAND-DOLLAR-A-NIGHT HOOKER! ...I want my shirts laundered... like they do... at the Imperial Hotel... in Tokyo."
    • "Jesus Time!"
    • 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 original short story, 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.
    • In a moment during Shinji's final confrontation with Johnny at the LoTek's headquarters, as Jane is being held hostage by one of Shinji's Mooks holding a gun to her head, Jane breaks free by elbowing the mook in the chest who (1) despite doubling over in pain, miraculously doesn't instinctively tense up his body when suffering such an unexpected body blow (which would have caused him to reflexively pull the gun trigger and inadvertently kill Jane) and (2) is wearing a heavy-armored bulletproof vest that is specifically designed to absorb and redistribute kinetic energy, like a prodding elbow, and making it highly unlikely that a wearer would be hunched over in agony after such a strike.
      • And after overselling Jane's elbow, Jane keeps beating on this same mook repeatedly as he keeps stumbling around taking blow after blow, when she could be more actively protecting Johnny, who she was hired to bodyguard, from Shinji.
    • "Halt, sinners!" Not helping is that it sounds like Dolph is doing an impression of Bullwinkle J. Moose.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Street Preacher. Henry Rollins also out-acts most of the ostensible stars.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Released at a time when FMV games were at an all time low, we can all agree that Spoony's review of the Johnny Mnemonic FMV game truly speaks volumes.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • 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.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • 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  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.
    • Closeup shots of the connector jack in the back of Johnny's head (seen when expanding his storage capacity with a "doubler" and when beginning to download the data to his implant) are obviously a mannequin prop, complete with plastic "hair."

The pinball machine:

Wanna know what causes NAS? This causes it!

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