Johnny's a nice boy. He's dumped his memories for a chip-enhanced
data-storage capacity and a piece of hard change (how
many of you out there wouldn't jump at a chance to do the same?),
but now he's suffering from a bit of a brain overload.
you expect, with so many Gigas in his head, especially when
they're leaking? Looks like it's time to download or die.
And the troubles don't end there. The Yakuza are after the
information Johnny's storing and have hired someone to bring in
his head cryogenically preserved. Johnny's only choice to get
away from it all and save his little grays is to hack his own
head. Oh, Johnny, oh, Johnny, oh, Johnny, oh!
This film promised to be both super and cyber. What happened?
The combination alone should have produced a better result:
William Gibson, Henry Rollins, Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren,
Ice-T, Udo Kier, Tracy Tweed, Barbara Sukowa (Doesn't it sound
more like some trendy Hollywood party than a film?) and many
more. So what went wrong?
William Gibson, the very man who gave
us the term "cyberspace", adapted the screenplay from his own
short story and that, it seems, may well have been mistake number
one. Although his imagination is captivating, it would seem that
Mr. Gibson's gift for dialogue is not.
Add some miscasting and
inadequate direction from provocative artist and sculptor Robert
Longo in his feature film debut and one has suitably enhanced an
already hopeless predicament. Well, Bob, I guess it's back to
the drawing board. I mean, let's face it, I'm crazy about Henry
Rollins, but he was totally out of place in his role as a
renegade doctor and as far as Keanu is concerned, he just isn't
(or is it "isn't just") another Schwarzenegger or Stallone. Of
course, Udo is great (losing his members again as he once did in
Dracula), Barbara S. looks fabulous in a haunting kind of way,
Dolph's new-born "persona" is not quite as attractive as his old
one, and it only remains to wonder why, for "Heaven's" sake,
someone didn't think of adding Grace to this already overextended
and undereffective potpourri. Who knows, maybe she had something
better to do? Director Longo, reflecting on the project, says,
"I wanted an eclectic cast so that it didn't reflect a specific
genre." Well, Bob, you win on both points. The casting may be
eclectic, but the result sure isn't electric.
Despite the great disappointment from unfulfilled expectations,
superb points, should, nevertheless, be awarded to Nilo Rodis
Jamero's for production design and John Nelson and Jamie Rama for
special effects. What a pity everything else wasn't up to par.
Maybe Johnny would have been better off dead.
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett