23 July 2000 | bmcclain
Geoff Murphy finally fixed Freejack.
I remember when I went to see Freejack in 1992: I was hungry for some good post-apocalyptic cyberpunk cinema.
The premise that time was the same as now: Protagonist tries to stay alive while penetrating to the heart of enormous, amoral forces that seek to turn him into spare parts. Back in 1992, we got a callow Emilio Esteves -- A world-class race-car driver? C'mon! -- as hero and romantic protagonist hopelessly miscast as a romantic foil to Renee Russo, who gamely did her best. What else? Let's see: Mick Jagger, phoning in his role with little more than a sneer, and Jerry Hall in a cameo doing her best Jerry Hall imitation. Even the normally excellent Anthony Hopkins seemed almost a plastic copy of himself.
Compare with this time around. Same premise, but this time Eric Roberts' character and Sarah Wynter's generate some actual sympathy and chemistry when they're not adding to the body count -- both showing some depth of character and conscience, each in his/her way. Cary Elwes is chillingly effective in his role as a hunter of almost reptilian persistence. Diane Venora turns in a fine supporting performance as an executive apparatchik who discovers the gross misjustice being perpetrated. And the curious flatness and jerkiness of Freejack eight years ago is eclipsed by this much better-paced story.