Alex Furlong has just died… only to awaken in the far future of 2009 where the rich buy the bodies of young whippersnappers of the past. Now he’s a freejack and he’s on the run. Can he find the man who had purchased his body (and perhaps get the girl he lost in 1991?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Freejack.
How?! Alex Furlong is a racing superstar on the rise with the love of his life at his side. Everything is going great until he perishes in a fiery car crash. THE END… psych! Just as he is about to perish his body is transported to the dystopian future of 2009, where the very rich have concentrated wealth and power and the rest of the world has descended into disarray. In this future the rich and powerful are able to buy bodies from the past and so Alex Furlong is spoken for. Not so fast! He breaks free and goes on the run as a (bum bum bum) freejack. With the help of a kindly nun he tracks down his old manager who in turn helps him find his ex-girlfriend, Julie (just before he double crosses him and almost gets him killed). Alex then runs off to find Julie, who happens to now be one of the top executives at McCandless, the company that runs the whole bodies-from-the-past business. She can’t believe he’s alive and quickly chases him away. Confused by his reappearance, Julie finds Alex and gets him to safety. She then asks Mr. McCandless to help get him safe passage out of town and he agrees. But when they all go to the boat he is meant to board it turns out to be a trap. And not only that, a double trap! Even Mick Jagger, the honorable bonejacker, doesn’t know everyone who is pursuing Alex. After earning Mick Jagger’s respect, Alex and Julie head to McCandless HQ and confront McCandless’ right hand man, Michelette. He reveals that McCandless has been dead the whole time (what a twist!) and he’s quickly approaching the moment when his mind needs Alex’s body or else it will die. Michelette wants that to happen so he can seize control of the company. Alex has other ideas and heads to the spiritual switchboard where he confronts McCandless. Ultimately McCandless attempts to take Alex’s body from him. Julie disrupts the process just in time, but no one can tell if Alex is still Alex or if he’s McCandless. Mick Jagger confirms that he’s now McCandless and kills Michelette. In the end we find that Mick Jagger knew the whole time that Alex was still Alex, but decided to let him continue to live as McCandless, hoping he can change the world for the better. THE END.
Why?! I could write a whole book on how as a movie becomes more generic the motivation of the hero is the first thing to shrivel up and die. Alex just wants to get his girl back and not be a freejack (in that order). The bad guy wants to live forever. There is this whole other explanation given about McCandless being in love with Julie, but I can’t tell if that’s just a ruse to get his hands on Alex’s sweet, sweet body.
Who?! Did I mention that Mick Jagger is in this? I won’t even say that he was a bad actor. In fact I thought it was pretty impressive that he took such a substantial role in what I thought was his first and only major film role… I was wrong. He actually acted a lot more than I thought and was apparently supposed to be a main character in Fitzcarraldo. Anyway, a distracting example of a musician-turned-actor.
What?! I can’t tell if the thousand times they show Estevez crash into a giant banner reading Nissan is a product placement or not. Sure it looks super rad, but also the main character of the film dies in a fiery crash as he plows into a sign for your car company. Also gotta love futuristic movies where everything has to look weird and futuristic… even the Miller Lite you are drinking.
Where?! Futuristic NYC in this film isn’t nearly as dystopian/prison island-y as other depictions of future NYC. I do like how they zip around to different parts of the city and tell you some of the characteristics and stuff. Even for a totally unrealistic version of the city it’s still a pretty solid setting. B+.
When?! They are pretty exact. Estevez is transported from 1991 at the time of his death aaallllll the way to the far future of 2009 bum bum bum. Thursday, November 23rd, 2009 to be exact (which oddly, wasn’t a Thursday in real life… dystopia messed up the calendar). Weird, I don’t remember having a celebration of Freejack Day when November 23, 2009 rolled around. But I guess we were busy prepping for TGivs. A.
This has a reputation for being very dumb and predictable, with blame being dumped on the director. It’s certainly a bit slow and the main twist was airmailed. So I could see people feeling a little let down by a big gaudy production delivering a particularly predictable product. But I don’t know, it was kooky enough to hold my attention. Like at one point Estevez makes a run for it in a champagne food truck… like literally a food truck that appears to be made specifically to deliver expensive champagne to rich people. That’s fun. Really this is what I imagine a film like Babylon A.D. would have turned out like if it had been made in 1991 and there is something fun in that at the very least. I also enjoyed Rene Russo (despite her looking exactly the same in 1991 and 2009). Overall I’d say I’d watch small parst of this again… just not the whole thing. As for Cyberjack, hooooo weeee. Now that’s what I’m talking about. I love me some dumb Dudikoff action. I mean, this film has to be seen to be believed. Dudikoff’s character is such a hilarious mess and Brion James is so far out there that I dare you not to be entertained. I loved it. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! We’ve got singers who can’t act! A twist that never quits! And crazy future set designs straight out of the 60s! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – This, Johnny Mnemonic, and Chain Reaction all kind of meld together into 90s era future cyber nonsense. This is the one with Emilio and apparently it is about time travel and involves Mick Jagger actually trying to act? That’s a bit odd. What were my expectations? Much like anything that resembles this I imagine it is a mess that looks like crap and tries to float on its futuristic setting. A bit like Highlander 2.
The Good – The storyline is a lot better than I would have initially given it credit for. It is a pretty fun film if you like the set design style. I do. It kind of feels like a British television movie from the 80s in some weird ways. Odd whiffs of A Clockwork Orange or something as well. I very much liked the twist (or even double twist) at the end as well. The initial twist and motivations by Hopkins were obvious. The second twist (and ultimate conclusion) less so and also I think pretty fun. Best Bit: The ending probably.
The Bad – It feels more old school than I think it should have aimed for. It immediately feels dated, and makes the setting of around 2009 even stranger to witness 12 years on from that “future” time period. As I said the first twist is a bit too obvious and they could have made that reveal a lot sooner. And Mick Jagger, not surprisingly, is pretty rough, although I liked what all of the other actors are doing for the most part. Fatal Flaw: Feels outdated and a bit slow.
The BMT – I like this film a little too much for this to actually be a BMT film really, but it is a pretty funny 90s time travel film, and also very notable for singer/actor Mick Jagger in a rare role. There are a bunch of films of this era (like Time Cop) which feel the same way and collecting them together into a film festival would be amusing to me. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, although it is far more competent than I would have expected. I would have guessed more Double Dragon, less Demolition Man.
Roast-radamus – Solid futuristic Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC where the entire film is set in a dystopian world where Japan won the trade war (I think). And a hilarious Super Secret Holiday Film (When?) as the film is literally set on TGivs 2009. Even though they do not acknowledge this in any way, it is literally November 23, 2009, which is Thanksgiving Day. That’s wild. Closest to Good I think.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – We’re back baby with a sweet BMT Crossover Episode! Emilio is running things and freejacking people all over the place. Naturally, when the half past dead Sasha Petrosevitch is heading towards becoming full past dead, he’s pulled into the future to help Emilio extract a dangerous freejack who is trapped in Alcatraz v3.0 (the one after the one from Half Past Dead). Entering into the ultra-futuristic prison Sasha does a bunch of Aikido, shoots some laser beams, and gets his man (and a boatload of time crystals the criminal hid as well!). As thanks Emilio uses his laser beams to send Sasha and the time crystals back to his original timeline. At the end of the film Sasha uses the time crystals to pull Billy the Kid from the back right before he is killed in New Mexico to join the half past dead team. He is also played by Emilio Estevez obviously. One and a Half Past Dead is the name of the film because it is set in the future.
Friend or Fiend – This week we watched one of the other “major” “Jack” films, Cyberjack (also known as Virtual Assassin) starring Michael Dudikoff. And boy howdy, this film is nuts. There are three levels to this. First, Dudikoff films in my experience are mostly rote action drama flicks and can be a bit touch and go. Here, this is literally just Die Hard, down to the hardscrabble police detective taking down hostage takers with his wit and wiles. BUT (and this is the second point) it is set in the future. Immediately you’ve kicked it up a notch by having some laser beams and holograms and other things they could barely do in the mid-90s. AND (and this is the third point) during the entire film Dudikoff is listening to a baseball game, and his love interest is also obsessed with baseball … that’s the best shit I’ve heard all day. So there. First level, you got a rote straight-to-video Dudikoff fiend. Second level, you are cooking a bit and right on the friend/fiend threshold because at least they mixed it up. But with the baseball? You get right to Friend territory because it is now officially charmingly weird. Anyways, Brion James is in this and he is off the hook insane, it is great. And the love interest is also funny since she gets a ride home with Dudikoff who is the janitor in her lab and drinking from a flask the entire time, but then is like “man, this guy likes baseball? What a catch!” and seems to immediately fall in love with him. The 90s man.