||IMDB Rating: 5.5/10 from R votes
||Release: 18 January 1996 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
||Director: William Gibson,
||Stars: Arthur Eng, Barbara Sukowa, Denis Akiyama, Diego Chambers, Dina Meyer, Dolph Lundgren, Don Francks, Falconer Abraham, Henry Rollins, Ice-T, Keanu Reeves, Sherry Miller, Takeshi Kitano, Tracy Tweed, Udo Kier
||Synopsis: In 2021, the whole world is connected by the gigantic Internet, and almost a half of the population is suffering from the Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS).Johnny with an inplanted memory chip in his brain was ordered to transport the over loaded information from Beijing to Newark. While Pharmakom Industries supported by yakuza tries to capture him to get the informaiton back, the Low-tech group led by J-Bone tries to break the missing code to download the cure of NAS which Johnny carries. Written by Miho Ishimine <[email protected]>
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Johnny Mnemonic could have been a wonderful movie, had William Gibson not
strayed so far from his original story when writing the screenplay. Having
painter Robert Longo direct the movie, the first and to this date only full
length feature he has directed, was probably not the best idea either.
While Longo may present the occasional intriguing image, his inexperience
shows in other areas. The acting is terrible for the most part, with Henry
Rollins taking the cake for worst performance. Reeves, contrary to popular
opinion, is alright and has a few great scenes, most notably his angry
breakdown on the pile of garbage under the bridge.
Having read Johnny Mnemonic several times the character of Jane is one of
the most annoying factors of the movie. In the story the character is Molly
Millions, a confident, tough as nails mercenary who sports several
augmentations, most important being retractable blades under her
fingernails. However, they had to change the character since Molly Millions
is also a main character in Gibson's book Neuromancer, and another company
owed the film production rights for that book, including the character of
Molly. But they could have made Jane more like Molly. Instead, she's as
insecure as Johnny, and he spends more time protecting her than she does
him, which is supposed to be her job.
There are other little inaccuracies in the movie, such as the Magnetic Dog
Sisters. In the story they are the door guards at the club and Johnny
claims that they are "bad news in a tussle." In the movie they are Ralfi's
bodyguards and portrayed as pathetic and outdated rather than dangerous. The
story doesn't have anything about NAS, that's all a fabrication to fill
space for the movie.
Gibson seems to try to shoehorn several of his concepts into the Johnny
Mnemonic movie. Instead of living in the rafters high above the streets, as
they do in the story, the Lo Teks live on an old bridge. Gibson has people
living on the Golden Gate Bridge in his books Virtual Light and All
Tomorrow's Parties. The bartender Hooky, at the club where Johnny meets
Ralfi, is an approximation of Ratz, a bartender from the book Neuromancer.
Johnny never accesses the matrix (the internet) in the story, but he does in
the movie, for no apparent reason other than allowing director Longo to show
off some CGI special effects.
Longo also chooses to mimic Blade Runner in the opening scenes, and later on
one character tells another that it's "time to die", a famous line from BR.
I thought this was unnecessary, and cheapens the movie, as blatantly ripping
of Blade Runner, whether it's for the purpose of homage or not, is the
signature of several B-Movies, which is sadly what Johnny Mnemonic ends up
I still like the movie. It does have some good elements to it, and if
you're a fan of Gibson, you should see it. It's better than Abel Ferrera's
terrible adaptation of New Rose Hotel, because it at least portrays Gibsons
technological world. I hope that Johnny Mnemonic is remade one day because
it is a great story. I'd ask Reeves to play Johnny again, because I like him
in the role. Gibson's writing is so descriptive, that a screenplay should
follow the story as literally as possible. Ideally, I think that Johnny
Mnemonic would work out as a short film, something no longer than an hour.
It is a short story after all, and adding filler to extend the time
certainly didn't work the first time.
Tags for Full Movie
, Barbara Sukowa
, Denis Akiyama
, Diego Chambers
, Dina Meyer
, Dolph Lundgren
, Don Francks
, Falconer Abraham
, Henry Rollins
, Keanu Reeves
, Sherry Miller
, Takeshi Kitano
, Tracy Tweed
, Udo Kier
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