Newest Review: ... long-term memories. He has had enough of not knowing his past and wants them back – but re-implanting his memories is going to co... more
Not very memorable
Johnny Mnemonic (DVD)
Member Name: Kodang
Johnny Mnemonic (DVD)
Date: 07/08/01, updated on 07/08/01 (53 review reads)
Advantages: erm.............., None
Disadvantages: The plot, The acting
I never had the chance to see this film when it was first released in cinemas and have had to wait until now to see it on terrestrial TV. To be honest I am glad that I did because it would have been a complete waste of money.
So what is this film about? In this vision of the future information is everything - and getting sensitive information from one person to another, without prying eyes getting hold of it, is a major problem. One solution is so called ‘Information Couriers’ – people who have chips implanted in their brains to allow them to hold data. Once encrypted and uploaded to these chips the courier then travels to the recipient and it is downloaded. The main character of the film is Johnny (Keanu Reeves) who is one of these couriers. His chip has a storage capacity of 160Gb and in order to make room for it Johnny had to lose some of his long-term memories. He has had enough of not knowing his past and wants them back – but re-implanting his memories is going to cost him a lot of money so he decides to do one more job in order to pay for it.
This last job involves delivering some data for a couple of scientists who have stolen it from the worlds biggest pharmaceutical company. There is 320Gb of data – too much for Johnny’s implant but he takes it anyway – thus risking permanent brain damage. Now this data is very important and all sorts of people want him dead – including the Japanese version of the Mafia (the Yakuza). So he has to try and evade all of these people, while risking sudden brain shut down to deliver his data. Oh – and another problem is that he has lost the access codes – so even if he were to get to the recipients of the information he is carrying – he will not be able to download it.
The film has got lots of flashy visual effects – which were a bit second rate to be honest. Reeve’s isn’t exactly the best actor on the pla
net and his performance is this leaves a lot to be desired. As far as the story goes – what a load of rubbish. Now I am a big fan of Sci-Fi in general – and despite being a Physicist – I usually find it relatively easy to put my ‘reality shades’ on and accept the false science that is bread and butter to shows like Star Wars or Star Trek. The problem with the ‘pseudo-science’ in Johnny Mnemonic is that it is a little too ridiculous. I’ll give you a couple of examples:
His (Johnny’s) implant’s capacity is 160Gb but he takes 320Gb – thus risking ‘synaptic leakage’ which can cause brain damage. But where was it stored? Surely not in his brain itself because otherwise why bother with a chip in the first place.
He had to lose some of his long term memories to accept the implant. Why? Why not put an implant in the leg, arm, stomach, backside – whatever?
We learn at the end of the film that the data he is carrying is to be transmitted to the world by those he is delivering it to – as it is of great value to mankind. If this is the case – why bother with an information courier? Just make thousands of CD copies and mail them to your friends, put the data up on the net – or whatever.
I could accept these and other problems if the rest of the film was any good – but it isn’t – which is a shame because something could have been made of the underlying idea. Oh well – at least I didn’t pay to see it.
(By the way - the price quoted is for the video from Amazon)