Blu-Ray Review: Johnny Mnemonic

The twenty-first century was meant to be an exciting place. A world full of unimaginable possibilities. Of mind-blowing technological and medical advancements. Flying cars and talking animals. An era of limitless opportunities but one where danger lurks around every corner. Where every vice or fetish can be sated. According to science fiction writers, anyway. The reality is so much more boring and prosaic. Not the universe conjured up by Johnny Mnemonic.

The year is 2021 and society is run by corporations who employ Yakuza to enforce their wishes. A world driven by a virtual internet which has caused a global pandemic of an uncurable neural disease. Johnny (Keanu Reeves) is a “mnemonic courier”, using implants in his brain to transport sensitive information. His latest job involved carrying scientific data, but its dangerous as it exceeds his capacity. Not to mention the dangerous people wanting to get hold of the data.

Johnny Mnemonic is both terrible and brilliant, in equal measure. Based on a short story by William Gibson, it’s full of idea and clever concepts. Also, it’s frighteningly prescient. Robert Longo created a film which, while set in the future, was steeped in the pop culture of the era. It’s outrageously stylish and great fun, while not taking itself that seriously. That’s the joy of Johnny Mnemonic. An almost childlike approach to a dystopian future without the moral policing or bloat of modern blockbusters.

Brand New Extras:

  • Audio commentary by film critic Rich Johnson
  • Limited Edition Booklet: Features ‘Future Proof: A Cyberpunk 101’ by Rich Johnson and ‘The Semiotic Ghosts of William Gibson’ by Brian J. Robb
  • Limited Edition packaging with new artwork by Lucas Peverill
  • Set of six art cards – reproductions of Spanish lobby cards

Additional Extras:

  • Tomorrow Calling (1993), a short film adaptation of William Gibson’s short story The Gernsback Continuum
  • Commentary with director Robert Longo
  • Japanese Director’s cut
  • Featurette
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Interviews from the shoot
  • Music video
  • Trailer

Johnny Mnemonic is released on Blu-ray by 101 Films on 6 May.

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