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Johnny Mnemonic

3.5 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the 21st century, Johnny is a courier with a huge data storage chip in his brain. He is carrying smuggled information from a company that wants it back and is about to crash him permanently.
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: R
Release Date: 23-MAR-2004
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

You might be tempted to call it "Johnny Moronic" after you've seen this illogical and derivative adaptation of William Gibson's cyberpunk short story (available in his book Burning Chrome), which is all the more depressing since Gibson himself wrote the screenplay. First you have to ask yourself why valuable top-secret electronic data would be stored in the "wet-wired" brain of a human courier (played by Keanu Reeves), who then transports the data from China to New Jersey as part of his last, most dangerous assignment. Surely there are better ways to transmit sensitive information, but since this is really just a conventional thriller with near-future design and spiffy special effects, Gibson and New York artist Robert Longo (making his directorial debut) are more interested in surface gloss and cyberpunk atmosphere. On that level the movie's fairly engaging, and Japanese film star Takeshi Kitano makes a pretty good villain, tracking Reeves down for the information in his data-packed brain. The movie also boasts an eclectic gallery of supporting players including rapper Ice-T, performance artist and rocker Henry Rollins, beefcake actor Dolph Lundgren, and transcontinental oddball Udo Kier. They can't stop this trip through virtual reality from being botched up, but sci-fi fans will certainly enjoy the echo of Gibson's fiction that remains on the screen. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Takeshi, Dina Meyer, Takeshi Mori, Ice-T
  • Directors: Robert Longo, Robert Yeso
  • Producers: Don Carmody
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 1997
  • Run Time: 2 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767802454
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,805 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Johnny Mnemonic" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Yes, you have to suspend your disbelief in certain areas, the plot for example. Yes, doubling 80 gigs to 160 gigs is laughable with the mega gigs available today (the movie was made over 15 years ago). Yes, Keanu Reeves acting is wooden (when is it not?) However, it is still a kick ass movie that is even better in blu-ray. Just think of it as a comic book type movie and just enjoy the ride. One thing is sure, it has never looked better.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie is better than people tend to think. Keanu does a good job, as do Dina Meyer and Henry Rollins. Ice-T plays basically the same character he does in everything, but it fits pretty nicely in this movie. Overall, it's a good adaptation of Gibson's short story, with the seemingly required reworking in places (no Killing Floor, sadly). However, it remains a good storytelling of the cyberpunk genre, and it should essentially be required viewing for Shadowrun players, as the movie's setting is the best visual treatment we have so far, even minus the magical component of Shadowrun. If you have the fullscreen DVD version (and I've never personally seen a widescreen version, despite looking for one for years) and you want the widescreen, this is your best bet.
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By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: DVD
It has to be said that when they open the annals of the worlds most underrated movies this will be at the top of the list. Keanu is well cast as JMn - some would say bereft of personality but I think that's missing the point, he's cool and professional, just as he should be. Ice-T plays the beleagured yet passionate freedom fighter with gusto and Dolph Lundengrundenhousen...en...whatever...is excellent as a twisted cyborg with a religious fixation. Everyone else is more than adequate in their roles. The plot is more subtle than the instant, intense visuals let on (and this is where a lot of people seem to trip up as they do not see past the cheese) and the movie stands up well to multiple viewings which is what you want from a video. All in all, a great package for any sci-fi fan and a must for Gibsonette's. Buy.
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Format: DVD
Give this film a few years, it's actually pretty stylish, funny, imaginative, and Mad Max-ish in its own way. Right now it's stuck at that bad point in the trend cycle--kind of where, say, Sixties Italian Sci-fi was languishing during the Seventies. The "hip" computer people are too busy pointing out errors in this flick to notice that it's fun and has legs galore. It's strangely prophetic too. Frankly, I've never "gotten" people who try to sniff out hard science illogic in science fiction and fantasy movies (Gad, read some of the reviews of Spielberg's recent "War of the Worlds"). I always feel they're not quite "getting it" themselves. To them I say go to an online dictionary and look up "irony" and "metaphor."

The script is an absolute stretch but that adds to the charm of the proceedings which have a kind of episodic Alice in Wonderland quality to them not dissimilar to those in "Escape from New York" or its sillier yet amusingly self-conscious sequel, "Escape from LA." How else are you going to get all those great encounters with wacky characters into the flick, eh?

In a decade or so, when computers become so user-friendly we won't need romping hordes of computer and cyber geeks around who nit-pick every detail of stuff like this (you know, the trolls who always seem to tell us that whatever software or hardware we've purchased we did wrong), "Johnny Mnemonic" will end up in decent "B" science fiction Valhalla and new fans online will be raving about this cool old movie and trashing the bejeebers out of "Sin City." Get it while it's cheap!

I recommend this to either younger people--mid teens and so--who will find it goofy, absurd, and fun, and to people, say, 35 and up, who like that 80's to early 90's retro stuff.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Much like Bladerunner, Johnny Mnemonic did poorly at the box office, but that doesn't mean that it's a bad film (Remember that "Citizen Kane" and "It's a Wonderful Life" also failed at the box Office). In point of fact, it a very good film with a decent story, heavy atmosphere and every single actor chewing the scenery to get the most out of it.

I particularly enjoy the fact that "Johnny" isn't a hero in any way; his personal arc is to go from jaded (being very close to, but not as nihilistic as Reeves later role, Constantine) self-interested courier to something resembling a more social human being. He doesn't make this leap, it's made for him, thrust upon him by the situation he put himself into and the events of the film.

The performances in the film are pretty good, with Henry Rollins is ernest and no nonscens as the doctor, Spider. Dolph Lundrend is at his psychotic best as the mecenary, Street Preacher, and Ice-T is righteous and driven as the rebel leader, J-Bone.

One of the things I love most about his film is that the screenplay was written by the author of the original story, the immortal William Gibson, whose novel Neuromancer practically created the cyberpunk genre of science fiction.

Unfortunately, the film was marketed as a sci-fi action film, and it isn't. Yes, there is action and the cyberpunk elements are there in all their grimy glory, but it is a drama more than an action film, and most importantly a drama of the cyberpunk genre, which means that there are no "good guys" and "bad guys" there just is the antagonist and the hell he has to drag himself through. I think that this is why it didn't do so well in theaters, there is no black and white, only mixing, melding pool of grey.
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