If you have a choice between having a painful root canal procedure or watching the Emilio Estevez/Mick Jagger thriller Freejack – I’d seriously consider the root canal.
While the time travel premise is interesting (pulling a doomed individual from the past to use as a body for dying future person) it’s nothing new. Millennium (1989) used the same premise, and on a larger scale. I’m not saying that film was any better….but it dealt with the same elements of time travel on a bigger scale. As fas as we know with Freejack, Alex is the only one this has ever been done to.
I think the biggest problem with this film starts with the script. Characters have little-to-no motivation, there are scenes that end and start again mysteriously, and the reasoning for the actions of the protagonist are pretty weak. It seems as if someone had a short student film and then tried to make a feature length film from the script. And chaos ensued!
The pacing of the film stinks, as well. Characters do stupid things for stupid reasons. For example, Estevez is holding a gun on Jagger when some a third group of people intervene that want to kill both of them. Estevez and Jagger kill this group, and then Estevez steps out towards Jagger and throws his gun on the floor. Even though Jagger is hunting him! They also carry over characters from the past to the future, as it’s only 18 years. But the dramatic differences between the ‘then’ and the ‘now’ are never explained. The big corporation or any of the other characters were never mentioned in the past. A huge waste that could have provided some cool context for the future.
Normally I’d think that any film that had Mick Jagger, Buster Poindexter, Jonathan Banks and Grand L. Bush would be a fun ride, but this trip is one way only! Straight down. I saw some IMDb reviews that said Jagger did a great job. I wonder what film those people were watching, as Jagger basically fills the space of a character in this film. He delivers lines, but does not act.
The best part is arguably the denouement by Anthony Hopkins. He has a great speech at the end of the film, which he delivers well, but the horrible scripted elements that he is forced to say…well, he does the best with what he has.
This film takes place in 1991 and then the future of November 23, 2009. Interesting fact that I realized while watching: two years after the future date in this film, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins would reunite to play husband and wife in Thor.
And that’s the best thing I can say. If you want to see a future story about a fish-out-of-water, go watch Demolition Man (1993).