Freejack (1992) – Geoff Murphy

Is Freejack great? No one is under that impression.

Is it fun? Definitely. Sure, it falls apart in the final act, and some of the special effects are questionable (though some are very well-used) but the rest of the ride is fairly enjoyable as Emilio Estevez chews scenery, Rene Russo looks stunning, and Anthony Hopkins chomps on a cigar. Oh, and Mick Jagger doesn’t strut.

It’s 1991, and Alex Furlong (Estevez) is a hotshot race car driver. He’s got a wonderful woman by his side, Julie (Russo) and he’s got his career all mapped out. Unfortunately, he’s about to die in a car crash…

… and finds himself waking up in a surgical suite in the far-flung year of 2009. it seems he’s been grabbed by a bone-jacker, Vacendak (Jagger) for use as a new host for the intellect of an unknown buyer. His own mind will be wiped out, he was supposed to die in 1991 anyway, and his body will become the home of someone else, someone with the kind of money to finance such an operation.

Alex is having none of it and makes a break for it (becoming a Freejack), even donning a costume akin to his Young Guns outfit as he tries to understand the time he’s found himself in. But Vacendak is in hot pursuit, working for and against the devious Michelette (Jonathan Banks) and his boss McCandless (Hopkins). So we know who the baddies are from the off.

And guess who else works for McCandless in this future? Julie, still looking incredible eighteen years later!

Alex is determined to elude Vacendak, reunite with Julie, discover who is after his body and stop it!

It gets cheesier the farther the story moves along, but it’s fun enough. Fun and forgettable, sadly. Honestly, I remember when this came out on VHS, that’s going back, and I watched it. I think I enjoyed it, but by the time it was over I had already forgotten I’d watched it.

Apparently, there was some trouble behind the camera. Despite reuniting with his Young Guns II director, Estevez, and the company, weren’t happy with how the film had turned out and reshot for a couple of weeks to add a little more humour to the film.

I like the ideas at work in the film, hijacking bodies that were about to die anyway and implanting them with a new consciousness and living forward from that point, I don’t condone it, but I like the thoughts behind the creation. The film doesn’t quite dive into the politics and economics of the time, only suggesting that the divide between the elites and the rest of his has grown practically insurmountable.

Hopkins and Jagger were less than thrilled to be involved in the film, and Estevez just looks like he wants to chew all the scenery, but for a quick piece of mindless entertainment to relax to, you could do a lot worse than Freejack.


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