Mnemonic" on DVD
Mind Games on the
Keanu Reeves is a "cyber courier" in Johnny Mnemonic, the movie based
on William Gibson's "cyberpunk" short story.
Johnny (Reeves) has had a good chunk of his brain removed in order to
free up space for an implant that lets him haul gigabytes of data with
him around the world. He's kind of the Federal Express of data, promising
accurate (though not necessarily overnight) delivery of corporations'
important and/or secret files.
He embarks on one last mission before he burns out, a big one that sees
him seriously overloading his cranial cache - and opening up a real can
of worms when it appears that everyone and his or her brother is out to
get him and separate his "inner hard drive" from the rest of his body.
The information in his brain is so important it could change the world,
so those with a vested interest in the status quo want the info, as do
those with a vested interest in seeing the status quo overthrown. Johnny
is caught in the middle, his brain a ticking time bomb and his life in
Sounds like the makings of a decent techno-thriller, doesn't it? And
it is. While the film has its predictable moments and relies a bit much
on gunfire and explosions to advance a pretty nifty storyline, on the
whole it comes off as advertised.
Reeves is fine as Johnny, and he's ably backed up by Dina Meyer as a
bodyguard wannabe with problems of her own. Dolph Lundgren gets co-star
billing for what's really a supporting role as a so-called preacher who's
really a ruthless hit man. Ice-T turns in a credible performance as one
of the cyberpunk leaders.
The DVD suffers from not being in widescreen, which is a shame. We aren't
sure if it's Pan&Scan or the original 4x3 aspect ratio as shot, but
the box refers to it as "full screen." We received the Canadian version,
which appears to have been produced on the cheap, and so we don't want
to comment on any other versions that may be out there, but the one we
auditioned was definitely not one to showcase widescreen TV's. Other than
that, the audio and video quality (the audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 channel
stereo) is okay, though the film would have benefitted from the digital
remastering treatment given so many other movies these days.
Extras on this Canadian edition are scarce. You get some cast bios and
filmographies and trailers and that's about it.
Johnny Mnemonic, from Alliance Atlantic Home Video
97 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital stereo
Starring Keanu Reeves, Dina Meyer, Dolph Lundgren, Ice-T
Produced by Don Carmody
Written by William Gibson, Directed by Robert Longo
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