godfather William Gibson's work finally makes it to the big screen.
Unfortunately it is too late and one wonders what would have happened had his
Hugo award-winning Neuromancer been made into a movie shortly after its publication.
The sad truth is that we have already had buzzwords such as virtual reality and
cyberspace explained in (albeit lesser) films such as The Lawnmower Man.
Thus Johnny Mnemonic lost much of the impact it could have had.
The situation is made worse by the presence of a wooden Keanu Reaves,
first time director's Robert Loggia's flat look to the movie and
Gibson's screenplay that tends to over explain events and terms. Had Neuromancer
explained anything it would have had none of the impact it had.
Gibson has much to add to the sci-fi genre and the same could be said of this
movie. It is more thoughtful and philosophical than let's say anything that Brett Leonard
has hoisted upon the world. The character Johnny Mnemonic, a data courier (data
is stored directly unto his brain) who literally suffers from an info overload,
is a metaphor in Gibson's world of humanity in general. This becomes clear as
the plot progresses: the information stored in his head contains the cure for
a disease which is basically a product of our information overloaded times.
The message that technology isn't always a good thing for us isn't a new one
- but few of them actually focuses on its harmful psychological effects and for
this Johnny Mnemonic has to be commended.
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.