Johnny Mnemonic (1995) Poster

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Underrated Sci-Fi Cyberpunk decent Action Flick from the 90's
ivo-cobra830 July 2015
My review of the underrated cyberpunk film, Johnny Mnemonic(1995) starring Keanu Reeves, Dina Meyer, Ice-T, Takeshi Kitano, Denis Akiyama, Dolph Lundgren, Henry Rollins, Barbara Sukowa, and Udo Kier. Johnny Mnemonic is a 1995 American cyberpunk sci-fi action film directed by Robert Longo. It was loosely based on the short story "Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson.Keanu Reeves plays the title character, a man with a cybernetic brain implant designed to store information. The film portrays Gibson's dystopia view of the future with the world dominated by mega corporations and with strong East Asian influences. Seriously this movie kicks ass. Keanu Reeves and Dina Meyer are awesome. I love when An assassin try's to kill Johnny he aim his gun on his back and says "Time to die" and Johnny says "Time" and he switch's his watch and the bomb explodes. Dina Meyer as body guard Jane throws a grenade and kills a few assassins. Dina Meyer also co started in her latest movie in the 90's Starship Troopers unfortunately her character in that movie was killed. I really love Dolph Lundgren as Street Preacher "It's Jesus time!" "HALT SINNERS!" Dolph shows up after next 45.mins. in the movie I wish he would have showed earlier. He's acting is still pretty good. Ice-T and Udo Kier did a great performance in their roles.

This movie is very underrated an solid Action flick I wish there would be more Action flick like are this today. In my opinion The Matrix and Johnny Mnemonic are my top 2 best Action Sci-fi flicks from Keanu Reeves of the 90's. Movies like are this don't exist today anymore.

The film was shot on location in Canada, with Toronto and Montreal filling in for the film's Newark, New Jersey and Beijing settings. A number of local monuments, including Toronto's Union Station and Montreal's skyline and Jacques Cartier Bridge, feature prominently.

The film premiered in Japan first on April 15, 1995, with a longer version (103 Min's) that is closer to the director's cut and features a previously composed score by Mychael Danna, different editing, and more scenes with Japanese star Takeshi Kitano and Dolph Lundgren notably. Val Kilmer was originally set to star, but left the project after he was offered the role of Batman in Batman Forever.The character Molly Millions, from the original story, was changed to Jane for the film. They are very similar characters except that Molly had retractable razor blades under her fingernails and augmented vision. It is believed that the change was due to the "Molly" character being attached to the rights for any possible future Neuromancer film adaptation.

The script was rumored to have been dumped on the doorstep of Keanu Reeves' house, a tactic that piqued his interest and led to him accepting the role of Johnny.

B.J. Rack, one of the producers, is still credited although he left the project due to creative differences with director Robert Longo First of all, the prologue is different and more poignant.

Here it is, in this exact form:

"New century. Age of terminal capitalism.

The armored towers of multinational corporations rise above the ruins of the democracies that gave them birth.

Soldiers of the Yakuza defend them.

Hackers, data-pirates, LoTek media rebels are the enemy, burrowing like rats in the walls of cyberspace.

A new plague convulses the cities: Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, incurable, fatal, epidemic, bringing fear and misery as old as the species itself.

But the most precious data is sometimes entrusted to elite private agents, wet wired to function as human data banks.

Mnemonic couriers."

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I cut this movie a lot of slack because it is based on a W. Gibson short story.
scott_m25 August 2001
Why does everyone hate that movie so much!?! All the reviews I have read called it "confusing". How could it be confusing?

1. Takes place in a world created in William Gibson's many works of fiction. 2. Man has data in head. 3. Others REALLY want data. 4. Man tries to get data out of head before it kills him -- or the people chasing him do.

Along the way there are some colorful characters, cool gadgets and cityscapes from Gibson's 2021, and even a smidgen of romance (but not enough to bother anyone). I mean what's the problem!?! The movie is very faithful to Gibson's vision and even asks the main character to wrestle with an ethical dilemma or two while all the action is going on...
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Cyberpunk at its best and worst
Playitagainsam8 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I must start with a personal statement - I'm amazed at the silliness of those who bombastically declare this to be the worst movie of all times and so on... Really? Is it really that bad, worse than "Manos - The Hands of Fate" or "Cocoon - the Return"?

I think most of the people who diss this film fall, broadly, in three large categories: 1) those who are so attached to the original short story that they can't stand the idea of an eponymous film with a different vision (although, again, its Gibson himself who penned this script!) This is not "purism", but acting like brats - just like those who criticized the film "Resident Evil" for not "sticking closer to the original games". 2) then, there are those who have a personal dislike for Keanu Reeves, and they follow him over the 'net, criticizing him for "wooden acting". It doesn't matter to them that the Johnny character is exactly what Keanu portrays - an egotistic, self-absorbed bastard, who only cares about his posh clothes, cold Mexican beer and hookers (and there are already so many out there like him, in the real world!). Then 3) there are those who are simply too stupid to actually watch what's going on on the screen, because of personal convictions, education or background (i.e. those who mention Grenpeace and anti-capitalism as if they are capital crimes, or those who think PharmaKom is a Japanese company). I was particularly amused at the user who launched a furious diatribe against the idea of the Lo-Teks being so visible in the ruined bridge, despite the fact that the only time in which they actually identify themselves as the source of anti-establishment activities is the very end, when they also announce they'll be going off the air.

The list could go on. But this is supposed to be a review, not an answer to those who dislike the movie so vehemently.

I believe this is *the* film which, despite its occasional artistic shortcomings, connects "Blade Runner" to "The Matrix". It was a courageous endeavour, portraying an all-too possible near future, and reminded me of another picture, similarly vilified by simpletons who couldn't see beyond the surface - "Starship Troopers".

The sad fact is that the movie was mistreated, and what we ended by seeing on DVD in most of the world is not what the director intended. There is an alternative version (briefly mentioned on this site) which makes some significant changes, and it's available only in Japan.

First of all, the prologue is different and more poignant. Here it is, in this exact form:

"New century. Age of terminal capitalism.

The armored towers of multinational corporations rise above the ruins of the democracies that gave them birth.

Soldiers of the Yakuza defend them.

Hackers, data-pirates, LoTek media rebels are the enemy, burrowing like rats in the walls of cyberspace.

A new plague convulses the cities: Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, incurable, fatal, epidemic, bringing fear and misery as old as the species itself.

But the most precious data is sometimes entrusted to elite private agents, wetwired to function as human data banks.

Mnemonic couriers."

In this day and age, in the post-Enron, post-9/11 world, all the above doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore.

The film is more somber in the Japanese version. We see more of Takahashi's inner desolation, and there are some added bits of gore and violence in the Beijing fight. Johnny himself is much more of a corporate puppet - we see it from a longer dialogue with the hooker in the hotel room, or in the scene in which he acquires the memory doubler. We see J-Bone sticking a syringe in the dolphin, sadistically commenting how the creature is a junkie.

There is also more realism involved (Spoiler alert!): the hero doesn't somehow miraculously recover his childhood memories after being connected to Jones. And we see how Johnny, exhausted, decides to get it over with, despite a dire warning that the "looping" procedure through the dolphin will most certainly kill him. That is a moment of pure redemption, sadly lost in the official European and North-American film versions.

Last but not least, the extended cut gives more screen time to Lundgren's "mad preacher" character. We see him sermonizing in his church, in front of a rapt audience, using words and gestures that are scarily familiar to anyone who has watched an Evangelical TV channel. He discovers along the way that Johnny's "load" is the miraculous cure for NAS, and he covets it for himself - he even shouts he wants to "become (like) God." It's easy to see why "some circles" decided to eliminate all this potentially uncomfortable content... but we ended up with a caricature, instead of a cunning and shrewd film villain.

Johnny, we barely knew you.
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Several Gibson concepts thrown together
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 being anyway.

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.
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Gibson doesn't translate well to film
raygirvan4 August 2001
This is not a terrible film as claimed, but it had faults: poor pacing; weak atmosphere (visuals were there, but insufficient music track to back them up); and its largely unexplained universe.

Ideally, you need to have read Gibson's short stories and "Neuromancer" first, and then all the props - cyberspace, 'black ice', grubby streets, brand-name hardware, Yakuza assassins, muscle grafts, etc - make sense. The "Blade Runner" style information dump was no substitute. Incidentally, many of these props appear cliched, but remember that Gibson more or less invented them; it's merely that this film appeared long after they had become standard movie fixtures.

Gibson's written work has fairly sparse dialogue, and makes heavy use of precise and rather introspective visual description to convey character. Perhaps this just doesn't translate well to film.
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Why do I keep coming back to this movie?
m0rg168 October 2003
I saw half of this movie on television once, and since I am a avid sci-fi fan, the story intrigued me. A couple of weeks later I went out to pick up a copy of this movie for myself, and ever since I've been watching it every now and then. Not every month, but at least once every 4 or 5 months. Sometimes more. There's just something about it that I like. Well, lets start from the beginning:

It is the year 2021 and the world has been taken over by large coorporations that do pretty much what they want to. Most of them are out to make money, however, and will do anything to achieve that goal. One of these coorporations is PharmaCom, a coorporation that deals in medicine and exists pretty much all over the world. From Beijing to Newark. 'Johnny' is a Mnemonic courier who carries an implant in his brain which allows him to carry a large amount of data there. But when he accepts a job where he is overloaded with data, he is not only experiencing trouble with getting rid of the data, but also finds that several bounty hunters and crime organizations are after his head and the information stored within. Over 24 hours he jumps around in the city of Newark, trying to find a way to get rid of the data and the bounty hunters.

A touch in this movie that many might recognize from the film 'The Matrix' is that in this movie they tend to hook themselves up to the internet, which has become a virtual reality like, àlà The Lawnmower man. But in the end of the film, Keanu's character completly hooks himself up to the internet for a short amount of time, walking around in it and controlling his actions as if he was in another world. Pretty much like he did in the Matrix. Wierd, huh?

The film presents a very interesting vision of the future. Coorporations, crime syndicates, virtual-reality, futuristic weapons and the like. The sets look authentic and the look and feel of the film is top-notch. The music seems to fit the mood at all times, too, which is a big plus. The characters are likeable and unique in their own way, but with one exception. Keanu Reeves plays 'Johnny' without any life or energy put into it and delivers his lines flat and in the most boring way. His worst acting job ever? Perhaps. You could tell he didn't like this movie very much.

Overall, its a very interesting sci-fi flick which has its ups and downs. The upsides is the setting, the music, the vision of the future etc. etc. while the downsides are Keanu Reeve's acting and sometimes lack of interest in what happens next in the movie. I give it a 7/10.
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Underrated - Not as bad as everyone in here says.
Krisko19748 July 2000
Heavens, why is everybody bragging about this movie? Maybe because they compare it to "Matrix? Probably, I wouldn't know another reason.

Nobody says that this is a real block-buster, but it is definetely not as bad as everyone here wants to make it.

It's a nice movie to enjoy (especially on DVD) and forget afterwards. Not because it was bad but just because it was good and entertaining for a short while. Nothing more, nothing less.

And it DID have its benefits: that crazy preacher was so hilarious to behold. A nice and funny mirror to the numerous fundamentalistic Christians in the American society. And, of course, some nice fighting scenes, cool hi-tech equipment, and a gorgeous Dina Meyer, all packed in a futuristic ambience. What else could I ask for for an action movie that you can enjoy and forget about afterwards?
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A Surprisingly Well Made Piece of Dark Sci-Fi
Mike_Wiggins18 July 2011
Usually when you watch a sci-fi film, the first half usually piques your interest only to sink into a confusing and badly written second half ("Star Trek V" comes to mind.). "Johnny Mnemonic" has the unique distinction of having a rather bad first half being saved by the second half. There were moments of badly delivered lines and situations, which I fully blame the director for. There were cuts where the demeanor of Keanu Reeves changed confusingly. Again I blame the director and continuity supervisor. There was, IMHO, more gore than necessary. But that's a matter of taste. And, to make matters worse, I wasn't sure of what I was watching.

There was a LOT of good things about the movie. It told a sci-fi story about a dark and bleak future....somewhat similar to "Blade Runner". And it did it well. There were an amazing amount of sets, extras, and really well done computer effects. There was even one really well filmed shot in a hospital that reminded me of the long scene from "Gone With The Wind" showing the dead and dying in the Atlanta train yard. Many of the secondary actors (especially Henry Rollins as "Spider" and Ice-T as "J-Bone") were surprisingly good and helped to raise my rating of the film from an initial 4.0 to an overall 7.0 rating.

If you aren't into a lot of foul language and/or gore, I'd steer clear of this film. But if you want to see a surprisingly well made piece of dark sci-fi, this is a film worth giving a chance to watch.
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One of those films that could (and should) have been better.
rodental24 May 2003
All things considered, this film probably does exactly what it sets out to do. Unfortunately the people behind it set their sights too low. There is so much movie-making potential in Gibsons writing, that this film could very easily have been both entertaining AND carried the depth of his literature. I was left with the feeling that Gibson thought: -"Well, this is going to be my one chance at getting my work on the big screen. So I'd better stick a little bit of everything I've made in it." Too many of the characters taken from his fiction get mistreated by the script: Ralfi, Molly Millions, the-guy-with-the-monowire-thumb, Johnny. Whereas the new ones, like Spider and the Street Preacher are much more entertaining. For example: One of the central ideas in the short story was that Johnny is "a very technical boy" - totally reliant on technology - and therefore actually needs Molly's muscle-power to protect him. Aside from one initial rescue, Johnny actually saves his own bodyguard more times than she helps him (with anything!) Maybe Keanu has a "Heroism Clause" of his own, like Kevin Kostner... :) A pleasant surprise though, was the appearance of Takeshi Kitano (even if it was a small part.)

My favourite scene is Johnnys rant on the rubbish heap. I know it is contrary to the intent of the scene, but I sympathise completely with his feelings. He had sacrificed something that most people hold sacred, in order to live a certain lifestyle, and it gets taken away from him completely undeservedly - no wonder he feels cheated.

If you really want Gibsonesque cyberpunk, go for _New Rose Hotel (1998) _ instead.
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Interesting & mildly entertaining, but could have been much better
Sentinel-1527 December 2001
What is it with Keanu Reeves and big budget cyberpunk science fiction movies? Oh well.

Considering it was based on the short story of the same name by cyberpunk godfather William Gibson, the movie is a minor disappointment. It's not that bad, but it could have been so much better.

However, a lot of Gibson's ideas are still there, making it a solid cyberpunk movie. There aren't too many of those around.
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Difficult to knock acting in a script that only called for charisma
strike11nitro4 December 2001
Oh man! Why so many bad reviews... if you wanted acting, WHY WERE YOU WATCHING A KEANU REEVES MOVIE?! If you wanted a thick plot with many twists and turns, you shouldn't have even went "Oh, lets go see a low budget b-film from '95!"!!! The movie didn't call for acting, they just needed a brief plot outline and charismatic actors to play the leads. When I saw this movie way back in '98 when it was on TV, I heard so many horrid reviews that were too over-analystic. When watching a film like "Dude Where's My Car?", are you going to look for the same quality you saw in a film like "The Usual Suspects"? Keanu Reeves did his role only good enough to support the movie... That's fine!!! The plot was a cliche cyber-thriller and you must have known that even just buy the back of the box or the trailer. It delivered a plot that was kind of cool, an star that does some one-liners, and action. If these three things were not what you wanted from this film then you shouldn't have went. It just delivers an action/adventure movie, nothing short of what promised. Don't be critical on films that are obviously intended as sheer dumb fun from start to finish... if these scripts even tried to be thinker, they'd be boring... AND YOU KNOW IT!
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There's 320GB of data in Johnny's brain, but not much else.
TheMarwood30 June 2014
This silly cluttered cyberpunk landscape is woefully dated and really just a backdrop for a man on the run picture. Like a B noir, Johnny takes a job that finds himself in over his head, where that head of his is carrying 320gb of data(!) that the Yakuza wants to tear off his shoulders. Keanu Reeves and Dina Meyer add to the cheese with their bland presence and occasionally funny/bad acting and we get some weird scenery chewing from Udo Kier and Dolph Lundgren, who is a Jesus freak bounty hunter also out for Johnny's head. Takeshi Kitano is wasted in a role that doesn't do much, except sit around waiting for others to retrieve his data and his casting seems motivated only for foreign sales. Ice-T plays the lead Lo-Tek, an anti-tech group trying to bring down the system and his role is practically the same (minus the kangaroo makeup) in his other 1995 sci-fi film Tank Girl. Even though Johnny Mnemonic is pretty damn stupid, it is entertaining no matter how misguided it may be and it is one misguided movie. There's a data decoding dolphin; some girl's soul stuck in a corporate computer system; a long and pointless opening credit scroll - since there's loads of expository dialogue explaining everything anyway; laser whips - which seems as dangerous for the user as the victim; and a trip inside the internet, complete with awesome mid 90s virtual reality effects - think Lawnmower Man fx, just slightly less embarrassing. Gibson and director Robert Longo damn the studio for re-editing the film before release, but I can't imagine this footage working no matter what was cut out or shifted around, but as it is, this is dumb pulpy fun.
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Camp Prelude
Polaris_DiB24 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Look, there is no arguing that this movie is dated and is rapidly becoming moreso. However, that does not change the fact that this cyberpunk gem stands firmly between Craig Baldwin's underground Spectres of the Spectrum and the Wachowski's mainstream hit The Matrix as a camp rebellion of digital overload in fetish costuming and grungy spectacle. Gibson provides the meat, Longo provides the gusto. From there, it's only a matter of wishing the acting was better and the graphics more advanced. However, digital effects had to develop somewhere between The Crow and Avatar. Hell, there's still an audience for this: why do you think cult filmgoers are turning out in droves for Repo: the Genetic Opera, arguably the musical version of this?

Keanu Reeves plays an unknown prelude to his Neo role via postlude to his Bill and Ted role. To me, this works. For others, I can see what their problem is. But even beyond that, you still have Takeshi Kitano and Henry Rollins to contend with, and they take to their roles without any hesitation, and the result is good. You also have the, in my mind always appealing, assets in radiowave revolutionaries who fight the corporate machine in dirty reverse-engineered hacker lairs while still finding time to put on fantastic make-up and pleather over mesh clothing, Yakuza gangsters with katanas, guns, and lazer-strengthened piano wire, and tripped out mercenaries looking for a client while desperately staving off a tweaked-out race against time. Oh, and hacker dolphins. YEAH YOU HEARD ME. Hacker dolphins.

So hate this movie if you want but this is the roots of all cyberpunk entertainment to me.

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A must-see for the sci-fi fan !
jesper_sommer7 May 2001
The first real cyber-punk movie ever with commercial success. The movie is certainly NOT full of clichés, since it is the first of its kind - a trend-setter for all cyber-punk movies to come. Although the manuscript could benefit from a few extra hours of work, the movie itself and the concept behind it, is the perfect school for Keanu Reeves to learn his role as "Neo" in "The Matrix". Set your mind free, and allow your imagination to take over... just for a little while. This movie is certainly no less realistic than "The Matrix", and a `must-see' for any science fiction fan !!!
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Future Net
tieman6420 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Before "The Matrix" trilogy, Keanu Reeves starred in this cyberpunk film about a "data carrier" who gets entangled in a half baked tale of techno-espionage. The film was based on a great short story by legendary author William Gibson (who coined the term cyberspace), but the film itself doesn't have the budget or talent necessary to make Gibson's dystopian future come to life.

Today the film is notable for several "virtual reality" sequences in which Keanu Reeves uses "cybernetic gloves" to navigate a futuristic version of "the internet". Sequences like this were found in many similar films at the time. For example, "Hackers", "Lawnmower Man", "Sneakers", "Tron", "Blade Runner" etc, all have scenes in which heroes use "interfaces" to "enter an image" or "program" and "find information". This was a big deal back in the days, but today you can find similar interactive sequences in everything from "Virtuosity" to "Minority Report".

Interestingly, the best of these scenes is still "Blade Runner", with its rather low tech approach. In Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", Harrison Ford uses a computer to slowly navigate his way through a simple celluloid photograph. Compare this to the wild arm movements, jazzy special effects, needless classical music and loud camera work of Tom Cruise's "data scrub" in "Minority Report". But more importantly, watch how the images in Spielberg's "data scrub" sequences are two dimensional, and watch how the sequences in "Blade Runner" and "Johnny Mneumonic" all stress three dimensional space.

6/10 – The "virtual reality sequences" in this film were outsourced to another production team, which is why they are the only things, for historical purposes, worth watching here. They're pretty cool sequences, Keanu Reeves literally tearing through a futuristic version of the internet with dancing hands and electronic gloves. One scene can be watched on youtube by typing "Johnny Mnemonic Future Internet" in the search bar. Before modems and personal computers were commonplace, this is how artists perceived our cyber-future.

Worth one viewing.
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I love any and all Sci-Fi anything.
tommiet17 December 1999
I like this film. The ending was lame but most are in my opinion. I like Sci-Fi movies from the rubber suited aliens to the "control" lights flashing madly for no apparent reason except for effect. Let's face it, in any given year there are few Sci-Fi movies made. Look at the long lists of movies made and there might be a Sci-Fi movie amongst them. Horror does far better with at least three or four a year. Sci-Fi has been a subjective genre and will probably remain so. After all, the future-present seems so dull, mundane and exploited when you're living in it (planes, cars, tanks, computers, internet).

Specifically about this movie I like the stark opening on the Main Character. He desperately, angrily, wants the money to get his memories back and do it right. The perfect setup for the risk he decides to take. The exposition dialogue on this point could be better but it got the point across (again and again) what was at stake and why. He was so desperate that he was willing to risk his life to obtain HIS goal.

Then we have the usual introduction of characters and the running, fighting and hiding. Each step of the way he is always closer to getting that thing out of his head and renewing his childhood memories.

I agree with the other comments regarding the Main Character's desires whil e standing on a garbage heap and his life looks like garbage -- he will never live to enjoy his childhood again, nor the physical comforts he thinks he wants.

The lo-techs vs. the corporate is an old theme with maybe another angle. It sets the backdrop for the overall story, the good and the bad fighting for control. The corporate side I liked. The lo-tech side was the usual, nothing new.

What I liked about the corporate side was the ancient use of the god-like conscience represented by the woman in the computer. The one who nags the corporate head to help the lo-techs for his absolution in the memory of his dead daughter.

The god-like conscience character is rarely used in American drama, but heavily honored by Asians. I have always liked this dramatic element even when demonstrated in the classical Greek. How can we define good and evil when it is beyond our control and understanding? Thus is an Asian view, as well as the ancient world, of the meaning of life. The doll white face and the near obliteration of any human features just as in the face masks worn in the ancient Greek dramas or in the ancient art of Kabuki.

Like I said, I like all Sci-Fi. It is too rare. As I illustrated above there were plenty of good dramatic elements and shots to make the movie enjoyable. Even the lame stuff has its own entertainment… just as good as rubber suited aliens.
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Classic Cyber-Punk
pberghuis23 October 2004
You know, I may give this movie a 4, but I really suggest you watch it and I have to admit that I own it. This is a classic example of the cyber-punk genre, and this is one of those movies that is so bad it's good. This movie is like "Blade Runner"'s fat slutty sister. It has everything, bright neon lights, a huge corporate society run with the help of the yakuza, and a group of rejects who neglect technology and help save the day. Some of the other things in the movie are just hilarious. Who do you call on to take out Keanu Reeve's when the going gets tough? They called on some badass agents in "The Matrix" but in "Johnny Mnemonic"? A bionic street-preacher/mercenary who hands out sermons while he is busy crucifying his victims.
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I'm in this movie.
madsagittarian30 September 2002
One Friday night in early 1994, I was one of the hundreds of extras who was hired to be moving scenery for this film. Basically, they convincingly turned Toronto's fabled Union Station into some post-apocalyptic hospice, in which we were all supposed to be shuffling around, getting food and suffering from some neurological disease. It's always amusing to see what filmmakers do to disguise Toronto as something else, to make it look like it takes place anywhere else other than (gasp) Canada. Still, whenever I go to Union Station, I am impressed with the makeover this location got.

I was anxious to see whether I made in the final cut or not, but the film's release kept on getting pushed back and pushed back. That is a sure sign that the movie is going to be a turkey. Well, it isn't terrible. William Gibson expanded his own short story-- so much so that the film is actually a mess. A beautiful looking one, however. Longo and DOP Francois Protat do a serviceable job in capturing the "plastic noir" of the future. But ultimately the movie suffers from having too many ideas-- some of them ludicrous, many of them poorly developed. It doesn't help either that the drama of the piece relies on the thespian abilities of Keanu Reeves or Dolph Lundgren. Yikes! Even so, Henry Rollins is pretty cool.

But for me, the great suspense was seeing whether or not I ended up on the cutting room floor. So for about two seconds, you get to see my face in a crowd shot. See? See? Wait! Damn!
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It's not "Strange Days" or "Until the End of the World" (5 hr. vers.), but ...
SmileyMcGrouchpants3 July 2018
... it's still a shot in the arm.

Before it wears out its welcome in the last 1/2 hour (too many set-ups where people "break" and run off as though dance routine-ing, when someone had the upper hand on the other, guns incl.), this is a rich body of material come to life with recognizable actors who, one would think, would want to be part of the next generation of art/culture/thought: Ice-T and Henry Rollins in a William Gibson movie? Lo Teks brought up out of the story (et al.) and located in a milieu where they could broadcast back, using technology that, by then (1995), would be familiar to filmgoers? Methinks there was more than a sly hint or two up Gibson's sleeve as towards pushing the audience a bit "left-of-center" and more towards a sustainable future that didn't entail asking corporations in their benevolence or governments in their competence and infinite wisdom to look after us. Radical chic don't work if it ain't "got that swing," though, and this movie's a hoot and a holler ("All ... I ... want ... is: laundered .... shirts, a (hand gesture) club sandwich ... and colllld Mexican beer," or however the line goes -- yeah buddy, that's how they get ya!), and fun for people who're willing to climb on board.

I'm surprised I regretted missing it more than I thought I would ... 2018's a little late to catch up, but as they say better than never. Now go read Neuromancer before I look at you funny and you start stammering out excuses.
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Visual design does not a movie make
bmcclain1 July 2001
This is one hell of a piece of cinematic achievement if you watch it with the sound turned off. I'd recommend some Warren Zevon and Nine Inch Nails for aural texture.

The film LOOKS great from start to finish; very dark and dystopian, with high-tech present even in the garbarge and stunning wealth cheek-by-jowl with grinding poverty. Trouble is, that's already been done, and done better, in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, some thirteen years earlier.

Other than an attempted screenplay for the Aliens series of movies, William Gibson hasn't had other fruitful contact with "that bitch of a whore" called Hollywood (as Sir Laurence Olivier put it). His stories are rich in visual references, but the minimalist dialogue that drives them doesn't help much in translating the stories to the screen. "Johnny Mnemonic" could have been an exception if it had (a) stuck to the original story much more closely and (b) conceded the need to by a shorter movie in accordance with the story's limits rather than introduce subplots.
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Read the short story then watch the movie>>Matrix is FarFetched and blahhh!!!
SPECTRE LABS18 March 2001
When you go to watch a movie and have no clue what so ever what its about,most of the time your gonna hate it for sure..This film is based on the man who has been writing the best cyberpunk books ever to come out.He's coined the term cyberspace and talks about corporations and what is in store for the future..Well about that movie its basically a told story of a man named johnny who is a courier,but not any ordinary courier he has implanted inside his head a jack that can store lots of data.He is carrying a cure for the disease nas(another deadly disease like aids or etc.A corporation who has the cure is trying to find defectors who have taken all the data of the cure to be exposed to the world..The YAKKUZA is hired to retrieve the defectors and the data,but thats where johnny comes in..Not a great screen play but for its nature,its well thought out,not bad for a movie that was suppose to be black and white and less than a million dollar budget but turned into hollywood status overnight and began the movie..Brilliant costumes,sets,and actors playing roles ive never seen played before ..Good music and good fx..Matrix lovers should know that read all of william gibson's books and watch the matrix,farfetched plots are good but not as good as the future within our lifetimes..And seeing if the future is really about corporations and governments being in power,as they are right now,globalization i believe its called..Check out NEW ROSE HOTEL with Abel Ferrara directing the flick aobut gibson's short story from the same book as johnny mnemonic...
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Pretty Good Film, but has errors
danxo1 June 2015
"Johnny Mnemonic" has its moments. It is actually pretty good. It received terrible reviews, mainly for moving too far away from original story, and film critics just hated it. Its funny at times, with comments like calling Johnny "Just Johnny" (by character "spider" played by Henry Rollins)after Johnny (Keanu Reeves)says his name is just Johnny. The data-carrying story is near OK, and the action pace is great. The film does have errors though - some pretty big ones. The writing is not very good. The year is supposed to be 2021, yet J-bone (Ice-T) tells his viewers to get all their "VCRs" ready.. VCRS? Really? In the year 2021? Nope. Also When Johnny is telling the Pharmakon underground that when the Data is transferred into head he tells them "you will fax a copy to Newark" FAX? There are no Faxes in the year 2021. The writers were using 1990s terminally. Otherwise, the film is okay, especially the action and special effects. The Japanese version is longer with more footage of actor Takeshi Kitano (character of Takahashi)as he is very popular in Japan. The Killer, (character Shinji) of the Yakusa Japanese mafia does a great job with his skills (or lack of "english" skills)....
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Greatest Film Ever Made
brandonleeeberhart4 November 2016
972 B.D. (Before Dolph) The galactizzy is barren. At the edges of its barreness is a lightsaberbeam wielded by the mighty HeyZeus, god of the son.

Or so fissionists would have you believe...

It's really just a Dolph Delivery Vehicle, our world. And so into it is Dolph and from Dolph begat Johnney Memomic.

The film also features Neo and Morphine but its really Dolph's show.

By, the way, there are kangaroo people in this so look out for them. They have pouches.

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A truly AMAZINGLY BAD film, props to everyone involved.
bbgrlshock448 October 2006
Keanu Reeves acting performance in this film was one of the worst ever in Hollywood HISTORY.

This mindblowingly, disastrous film combines horrendous acting, horrible directing, horrible dialogue, horrible EVERYTHING. Johnny Mnemonic is worse than a B-movie. I remember wanting to see this in the theaters when I was a kid, I probably would have liked it back then. Having seen this recently, how was this even released in the theaters?

I'm a fan of cheesy movie (and the early 90's was filled with cheese) so I was able to sit through this...I did enjoy it somewhat thanks to it being unintentionally funny. Let's not kid ourselves though--

Johnny Mnemonic is one of THE worst movies of the 90's. Batman and Robin has company.

btw, Ice-T is truly a no-talent a$$clown.
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Good Sci-fi with an nice "end-of-the-world" feel to it...
Twisk9 August 2004
People with hi-tech body implants, cyberpunks galore and some awful sickness induced by a technology gone wild, all situated in a world where computers, drugs, rust and dirt are the only winners. The whole of William Gibson's world is there, perfectly pictured in this superb movie.

You'll get no nice future prospects for western civilization here. Gibson describes an apocalyptical world which is realistic enough to be scary. Since 1995, computing may have progressed faster than Gibson thought. The point the film makes (about us?) remains valid, though. And the aesthetics are just fine.
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