Director: Geof Murphy
Hot shot F1 driver Alex Furlong (Estevez) dies in the year 1991 to then wake up in the scummy future that is the year 2009. Yup Alexâ€™s been snatched through time by â€śsomebodyâ€ť who paid good coin to have his mind transferred into his body. What a bummer. So, Alex runs, they chase, kaboom, pow-pow and crash! Yeehaw!
Being that things are slow on the big screen genre wise now of late, I stepped into a time machine (i.e. Netflix) and hooked myself up with
celluloid bon-bon extraordinaire FREEJACK
! Yup the much maligned Emilio Estevez Sci-Fi actionner. I loved this fucko when I saw it on the big screen
by way of its initial release and got back handed stupid when everybody and their uncleâ€™s
uncle took a big, corn laced dump on it. So 16 years later did the flick hold up
on any level? Was everybody right and I was dead wrong?
Wellâ€¦ it all depends in which garage you park your car â€¦ â€śWARNING â€“ WARNING â€“ IMMATURE and semi
MISOGYNIST statement to come â€“ TAKE COVER â€ť â€¦ and in which hole you bang your broad. You see when FREEJACK was unleashed onto the world, folks mainly complained about three things: Estevez sucked, the script was filled with holes and that the thing was basically a mindless chase flick with violent gun fights spread throughout. Let me repeat that last part again:
basically a mindless chase flick with violent gun fights spread throughout
. Ahhhhâ€¦.hmmmâ€¦ when did that become a bad
thing again? I must have missed the memo. Its always good news in Arrow World!
FREEJACK (based LOOSELY on Robert Sheckley 1959 novel Immortality, Inc) put out a
pretty damn cool initial premise, tossed in a handful of gnarly sci-fi concepts and then proceeded to sprint through its 110 running time via engaging chase sequences, loud explosions and bang-on gun fights that kept my simpleton self jazzed up!
The slew of intentional laughs (some groovy one liners and mucho slick situations) and un-intentional giggles (a dead pan Mick Jagger with
howlers like â€śGet the
meatâ€ťâ€¦lol) hit the spot as well. Last I checked, easy smiles are always
welcome in my shitty life. And although I will agree with the masses that it couldâ€™ve been a much smarter film; I beg to differ as to Estevez
stinking up the joint in the lead. Did the dude maybe look too young for the role? Okay, Iâ€™ll give you that. But that didnâ€™t change the fact that he punched in a credible and energetic
showcas that had me rooster-rooting for him the whole way. Moreover, his winning chemistry with hot-pants Rene Russo gave the
whole some much needed heart and humanity. Result; I had something to hold on to other than dead bodies and fireballs.
My main beef with this rocket to the moon though was actually its poor production designs/values which screamed Blade Runner/Demolition Man LEFTOVERS. The future world here was poorly thought out (Them big bulky cars so didnâ€™t work), slap dashed in execution (military vehicles painted redâ€¦ okayâ€¦) and constructed in a way to serve its limited budget not logic (if I see one more shitty looking
alleywayâ€¦ I'll jump ship and drown the captain). Furthermore, it was really hard to ignore the fact that this tale was set so early in the future (2009 that is) in the name of having a feasible love
on between past Estevez and future Russo (I respect the fact that they didn't
even TRY to make the latter look older...lol). That was the SOLE reason. Then we
had the â€śmysteryâ€ť at hand, if you wanna call it that. The â€śwho/whyâ€ť behind
the tomfoolery was handled with the subtlety of a sledgehammer nipping the potentially gray matter stimulation it couldâ€™ve had in the
bud. And was it me or did the movie have a tight â€śweâ€™re not sureâ€ť Total Recall ending before it ruined it with them tacked on final frames? Re-shoots? Smelled like it.
At the end of the kill though, FREEJACK held up today in the cool concept,
simple as pie and action driven department. Shite, it even had a trip out 2001
rip bit near the end that screamed REEFER! So if thatâ€™s what youâ€™re yearning for today, free this Jack and have a blast!
Other than bullet hits, an off-screen stabbing and more bullet hits â€“ nothing. Thatâ€™s unless you count Anthony Hopkins' horrible haircut . Yeesh!
Emilio Estevez (Alex) gave a pumped and endearing show. Dude gets too much flack for nothing in my useless opinion. Yes he has a baby face and heâ€™s short â€“ lets move on! Mick Jagger (Vacendak) gave a monotone display that had me laughing for the right (his does deadpan well) and wrong (hence right) reasons. He often looked clueless as to how to work it in front of the camera. GOLD! Rene Russo (Julie) gave a vulnerable and touching show. Loved her! Anthony Hopkins (McCandless) smoked stogies and cashed in a check. Itâ€™s hard to go wrong with Jonathan Banks (Michelette) playing an a-hole. He aced at it here too!
T & A
Rene Russo was quite the mega-babe in them days! I forgot how hot she was (and still is? Not sure, havenâ€™t seen her in a while). Too bad the top stayed on. NOTE: See Thomas Crown Affair remake to take a gander at her hush-puppies. The ladies get Estevez shirtless.
Director Geof Murphy is no stranger to action, and although this had to be one of his more uninspired looking film (the sets and the props played against him) he still kept the ball rolling with well staged/shot chase sequences and gripping gun bits.
We get a griping score by Trevor Jones and groovy Ministry and Jesus and Mary Chain stuff. The flick capped it all off with â€śHit Between The Eyes" by Scorpion. ARROW SOLD!
Some would call FREEJACK a guilty pleasure. I wouldnâ€™t cause I donâ€™t feel guilty about digging the damn thing! NOT ONE BIT! In a gun shell, FREEJACK had two strong leads and went buck wild with its action driven plot line and its good or so bad theyâ€™re good elements. The muscled and frequent vehicular chaos was also appreciated by this twat. Yeah, the script had holes, the production designs screamed cheapo/schizo and Emilio looked a tad too young for the roleâ€¦ but hey who gives a tooth-fairy about that jive. I had a hoot and thatâ€™s what matters the most. Shut off your brain and enjoy the ride or don't hop on it at all! Time to make FREEJACK part of my DVD collection. Hard to pass up on such a cheesy tresor!
Linda Fiorentino was first cast as Estevez's gal pal. She was fired after a week of shooting.
The film was shot in Atlanta Georgia, USA