Freejack

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For the electronic music producer, see Jack Molenschot.
Freejack
Freejack.jpg
Directed by Geoff Murphy
Produced by Ronald Shusett
Stuart Oken
Screenplay by Steven Pressfield
Ronald Shusett
Dan Gilroy
Story by Steven Pressfield
Ronald Shusett
Based on Immortality, Inc. by
Robert Sheckley
Starring Emilio Estevez
Mick Jagger
Rene Russo
Anthony Hopkins
Jonathan Banks
David Johansen
Music by Trevor Jones
Cinematography Amir Mokri (uncredited)
Edited by Dennis Virkler
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • January 17, 1992 (1992-01-17)
Running time 110 minutes
Language English
Budget $30 million (estimated)[1]
Box office $17,129,000 (USA)

Freejack is a 1992 science fiction action film directed by Geoff Murphy, starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins. Upon its release in the United States, the film received mostly negative reviews. The story was adapted from Immortality, Inc., a 1959 novel by Robert Sheckley. Aside from the most basic elements – the journey of a modern man into a future where everything is for sale, and the presence of a "spiritual switchboard" in which souls are suspended – the cyberpunk plot bears little resemblance in tone or content to Sheckley's story, where discovery of scientific proof of the afterlife altered society's views of the sanctity of life.

Plot[edit]

In the year 2009, the super-wealthy gain immortality by hiring so-called "bonejackers" - i.e., mercenaries who use time travel technology to snatch people from the past, just prior to their deaths. Their bodies are then taken over by the rich to extend their lives. Those who escape bonejacking, known as "freejacks," are considered less than human under the law. In this dystopic future, most people suffer from poor physical health as a result of rampant drug use and environmental pollution, making them unattractive as replacement bodies.

Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez) is a professional race car driver who is about to die in a spectacular 1991 crash, witnessed by his fiancée Julie Redlund (Rene Russo) and agent Brad (David Johansen), when a time machine snatches him from the car and into the wasteland that is the 21st century Bronx. When Furlong's captors - led by mercenary Victor Vacendak (Mick Jagger) - are ambushed by a hit squad, Furlong escapes. Having no idea what happened, he tries to find Julie, but she no longer lives at her 1991 address. He takes shelter at a church, where a sympathetic (and well-armed) nun (Amanda Plummer) explains what has happened to him. She also provides him with clothing, food and a pistol.

Furlong finds his former agent Brad, but Brad immediately sells him out, getting killed in the process. He then finds Julie, but she calls security, believing him to be "the bastard who stole [Furlong's] body." When Vacendak shows up, she realizes that Furlong is actually her Furlong. She goes to Ian McCandless (Anthony Hopkins) to try and help Furlong escape the city. McCandless promises that he will help secure Alex's escape. However, it is a trap — Vacendak and his men try again to capture Furlong, but he manages to defeat the mercenaries and holds Vacendak at gunpoint. Furlong demands that he be told who wants his body; Vacendak finally tells him that McCandless himself wants Furlong's body. Because Furlong saved his life earlier, Vacendak gives him a chance to run and Julie steals an armored vehicle used by the bonejackers.

Furlong and Julie manage to evade Vacendak's security guards and McCandless' police force. But they also find they have to deal with the private guards of McCandless' corporate executive officer Mr. Michelette (Jonathan Banks), who wants McCandless' job. He is responsible for the ambush that allowed Furlong to escape in the first place.

Furlong then pretends to take Julie hostage and negotiates with Michelette. Furlong hopes they don't know about his past relationship with Julie. But, it turns out that Michelette saw footage of Julie's grief after the 1991 accident. He immediately fires Julie on the spot. Furlong and Julie escape the meeting, hoping to flee through the lobby, but they are thwarted by a gunfight between the security guards and mercenaries.

Their elevator takes them to the penthouse, where McCandless' mind is stored. A hologram of McCandless explains why he wants Furlong's body — so he could show his love for Julie. Apologizing, he offers to let Furlong run the company while pretending to be McCandless. Just then Vacendak arrives and McCandless reveals he was only stalling for time. Furlong, forced into the transfer machine, protests "You don't need a new body, you need a new soul, and your machine can't give you that!" Just as the transfer process begins, Michelette stumbles in, wounded from fighting Vacendak's soldiers. In the confusion, Julie grabs a soldier's pistol and shoots the processing crystal used by the transfer computers. The transfer results are deemed inconclusive since no one knows if McCandless controls Furlong's body. McCandless' scientists cannot tell and conclude that McCandless will have to identify himself. Michelette agrees, revealing that only McCandless will know his own personal I.D. code — a code that Alex wouldn't know. Vacendak receives a handheld computer which displays McCandless' code. He instructs "Furlong" to tell him what it is.

Alex responds by saying the code slowly, and Vacendak asks him to continue. Michelette concludes that the transfer was completed and tries to kill Furlong, but is gunned down by Vacendak and his men. Furlong remarks about how well he feels in his "new" body, before ordering Julie to dress more appropriately.

A while later, Furlong and Julie go for a drive. Vacendak stops them as the car leaves the estate. It turns out that the transfer was not complete after all; Furlong got McCandless' secret number wrong, though Vacendak went along with it. He simply waited until Furlong made a mistake: McCandless did not know how to drive. Vacendak admonishes Julie that "you'll have to coach him better than that", then leaves while Furlong and Julie speed away.

Cast[edit]

Actor Character
Emilio Estevez Alex Furlong
Mick Jagger Victor Vacendak
Rene Russo Julie Redlund
Anthony Hopkins Ian McCandless
Jonathan Banks Mark Michelette
Grand L. Bush Boone
David Johansen Brad

Production[edit]

The role of Julie Redlund was originally going to be played by Linda Fiorentino, but due to scheduling conflicts, she dropped out and Rene Russo signed on to replace her.

Reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics and currently holds a 15% rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 15 reviews.[2][3][4][5]

Home video releases[edit]

Freejack was released on VHS in 1992,[6] with a DVD release following in 2002.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freejack at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "Freejack – Rotten Tomatoes". Uk.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  3. ^ "MOVIE REVIEW : The Future Is Grungy in 'Freejack' – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 1992-01-20. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (1992-01-18). "Movie Review - Freejack - Review/Film; Scurrying Back in Time In Search of a Healthy Body". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  5. ^ Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman (1992-01-31). "Freejack Review | Movie Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  6. ^ DENNIS HUNT (1992-05-21). "Video Rental Chart : 'Scout' Holds Onto First Place – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Freejack : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. 2000-08-13. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 

External links[edit]