I know, I know. The same could be said of a lot of flicks, but if I recall correctly my sentiments were that the film didn’t entirely make a lot of sense. If the bits and pieces of the narrative don’t quite add up to a complete whole, then I’m apt to struggle in having anything relevant to say about a project. I can assure you that I recently – last year? – rewatched this one from an airing on cable, fully with the intent to craft a review for SciFiHistory.Net. At the conclusion, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, though I may (sigh) give it another go in the future. Yes … I can be that persnickety.
From what I’ve read, Freejack endured a bit of controversy in being loosely adapted from the Robert Sheckley novel (1958’s “Immortality, Inc.”) to the silver screen. Initially, it was directed by Geoff Murphy, who had previously worked with the film’s lead Emilio Estevez on the popular Young Guns II (1990). As genre credentials go, Murphy did have 1985’s The Quiet Earth under his belt, and that flick was not without some industry and festival praise. But test screenings were so bad that Freejack needed a retooling, requiring producer Ronald Shusett to roll up his sleeves and put on his big boy pants to allegedly reshoot about half of the flick. Ouch. That’s gotta leave a mark. The end result – even after three decades – still has the picture with an aggregate 34 (out of 100) on the Metacritic.com website … and that’s nothing to write home about.
In fact, IMDB.com’s Trivia Page for the feature has a little blurb regarding Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones’ frontman, who has a respectable role as a good-guy-bad-guy in Freejack. Jagger states that he accepted the chance to play ‘Victor Vacendak’ entirely on being told the story of the film and without being provided a script. He says that had he actually read one that he would’ve passed on the project … and that would probably have been a good idea.
In any event, here’s the premise as provided by the good folks at IMDB.com:
“Bounty hunters from the future transport a doomed race car driver to New York City in 2009, where his mind will be replaced with that of a dead billionaire.”
Somehow – and I do mean somehow – the Academy Of Science Fiction, Fantasy, And Horror Films actually nominated Freejack for an incredible three Saturn Awards (‘Best Costumes,’ ‘Best Supporting Actress,’ and – gasp – ‘Best Science Fiction Film’). Thankfully, it didn’t win a single trophy, and that probably saved the Academy from having a little egg on its face that year.