Freejack (1992) Directed by Geoff Murphy. With Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
Based on a novel by Robert Sheckley, adapted by three different screenwriters and with an eye-catching cast including Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger and Anthony Hopkins, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Freejack is a bit of a muddle. Released in the early 1990’s and with a respectful budget to its name, director Geoff Murphy struggles to gain any traction from a story that seems to shadow the likes of Total Recall, but never exerts itself in terms of character, wit, tension or excitement.
Thanks to his success as a leading member of the ‘brat pack’ in the mid-to-late 1980’s, Emilio Estevez is cast centre-stage, as a racing car driver, clutched from the jaws of death and transported 18-years into a typically bleak vision of the future. A future in which Mick Jagger delivers some of the worst acting in a mainstream film ever.
Jagger isn’t the root of the problem here, though. For starters, the script is a stinker – devoid of ingenuity, while the direction is stock and unimaginative. Estevez is a willing lead, if not slightly bland, and some of the set-pieces are notable for looking expensive, with enough stunts, chases and explosions to edit a half-decent looking trailer. In the context of the film, however, they do little to detract from the boredom.
While it has quality in its ranks, Freejack is as throwaway as they come. Jagger’s performance is embarrassing to behold, while it’s baffling to see Anthony Hopkins propping the thing up in a performance he quite literally phones in. What begins intriguingly, descends quickly into a mire of half-baked ideas and squandered potential. 2/5