Johnny Mnemonic (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Johnny Mnemonic1995

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)



Critic Consensus: As narratively misguided as it is woefully miscast, Johnny Mnemonic brings the '90s cyberpunk thriller to inane new whoas -- er, lows.

Johnny Mnemonic Photos

Movie Info

This Canadian sci-fi action feature is set in the grim, heavily computerized future. It is the tale of Johnny, a young man with a computer chip implanted in his head. The chip contains a wealth of top-secret information that he must smuggle from Japan to the US. He is pursued by an evil yakuza who wants the information for his own mega-corporation. Johnny evades him and makes it to the Free City of Newark where he is to be downloaded. He must hurry because if the information isn't removed soon, his head will explode. While in Newark, he is chased by a loin-cloth wearing villain who wants his head, which he will keep alive until the information has been retrieved. In the end, Johnny's information is successfully downloaded amid spectacular computer-generated graphics.

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Dolph Lundgren
as Street Preacher
as J-Bone
Udo Kier
as Ralfi
Takeshi Kitano
as Takahashi
Sherry Miller
as Takahashi's Secretary
Victoria Tengelis
as Pharmakom Receptionist
Warren Sulatycky
as Yakuza Operator
Celina Wu
as Mikiyo
Gene Mack
as Laslo
Simon Sinn
as Man in Hotel Lobby
Caitlin Carmody
as Twin in Hotel Lobby
Erin Carmody
as Twin in Hotel Lobby
Douglas O'Keeffe
as Pharmakom Security
Marlow Vella
as Lotek Kid
Lynne Adams
as Rocket Launcher Yakuza
Mike Shearer
as Yakuza Partner
Susan Tsagkaris
as Opera Singer
Christopher Comrie
as Beijing Riot Newscaster
Robin Crosby
as Girl in Hotel Room
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Critic Reviews for Johnny Mnemonic

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (6)

You can have a better time title-scanning Johnny pics in an alphabetical video guide than you can enduring the latest Blade Runner knockoff: Johnny Mnemonic.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4
Top Critic

Johnny Mnemonic is one of the great goofy gestures of recent cinema, a movie that doesn't deserve one nanosecond of serious analysis but has a kind of idiotic grandeur that makes you almost forgive it.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Its a shame that the whole design is so tacky, the realization so simple, devoid of resources and imagination, and that is impossible to highlight anything good about the cast. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 27, 2019 | Full Review…

A cheesy cyberpunk thriller.

May 2, 2017 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Reeves showcases his considerable thesping skills in a climactic monologue about... room service.

January 12, 2004 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

Disappointing sci-fi. Good portrayal of the implications of being a human hard drive, but little action and no real villain.

July 14, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Johnny Mnemonic

Don't you just love these old 90's dystopian sci-fi thrillers that tried to predict the future of the internet. Looking back now its all so amusing and quaint to see these elaborate early CGI sequences showing us what cyberspace would be like, going online, networking, digital communication etc...Such spectacularly vast endless worlds of stereotypical neon lit computer imagery that both mesmerised and confused you. You had no clue how it all worked, what you did in there or where to go...but boy did it look really really cool! Based loosely on a short sci-fi story of the same name by William Gibson. The plot is all about a data courier (Reeves) who can transport secret important information within his head via his brain implant. So yes you've guessed it, Johnny gets a new batch of data uploaded into his head in Beijing to courier to his client in the US. Unfortunately this data is highly sort after by various people as it contains the cure to a deadly virus affecting mankind. So basically he's been double crossed by his agent and everyone is after his head once he touches down back on American soil. To make things worse his head can only take a certain amount of data, and his new job exceeded that limit, so unless he gets the data out of his head he will die. Reeves had already starred in two big action hits 'Point Break' and 'Speed' and would go on to star in a few more during the 90's, but he still isn't really thought of as an all out action man type. Although it could be said that this movie was a precursor to 'The Matrix', but how he got that gig after this I don't know. In this movie we see the old version of Reeves with his slow dumb sounding drawl, the tone that has pretty much become his trademark. He almost looks like a fresh faced schoolboy in this movie, so much thinner in the face and with that dreadful short back and sides. What was it with future haircut ideas that they had to be nasty, Reeves sideburns have been sheared away leaving that cold grey bald appearance, whilst the back of his neck has been clippered and shaved harshly too. The alarm bells must have been ringing for most when they discovered Ice-T was in this, its common knowledge that if this man is cast in a movie chances are it will suck. This was the second dystopian sci-fi action flick he had starred in which sank! Both in 1995 and in both movies he had a stupid name much like his stage name...J-Bone in this and T-Saint in 'Tank Girl'. Udo Kier is another C-list star that tends to pop up in trashy low grade flicks, so its unsurprising he is in this...zing! (a precursor to 'Barb Wire'). The exact same could also be said for Dina Meyer who was another rising star of the time that disappeared after the 90's. Ditto for the mighty Dolph Lundgren who's role in this seems totally pointless really, almost like an after thought or crowbarred in. Its amusing his name gets top billing alongside Reeves because he's not even in the movie that much. Heck this flick is a checklist of stars that completely faded into obscurity. Being labelled a techno-thriller is probably a bit misleading to be honest, this entire flick is hardly thrilling nor particularly techno. I guess you could count all the silly CGI sequences of vast infinite neon circuitry boards with various hovering advertisements and a pair of virtual reality hands controlling everything, a type of techno visualisation. The thing to obviously remember here is this movie is highly dated now, laughably so, everything you see is primitive and daft, those awful virtual reality obsessed years of the mid 90's. Can't blame the movie for that of course, its a product of its time, but its gotta be mentioned. Ugh! just let me mention how cute it is that Johnny's head can hold a whopping 80GB! and he boosts that to 160GB! It sounded so enormous back in the day. 'I can get it out' 'How?' 'A general anesthetic, a cranial drill and a pair of forceps' What the movie does have is the overused cyberpunk concept, again just like the rest of the 90's. Many sci-fi action thrillers from this time zone had cyberpunks of various designs woven into their plots. Usually they were a rebel group of marauders or savages, possibly mutants, that fight against an oppressive ruling class. Often clad in a used barbarian [i]Mad Max[/i] style with similar barbaric weapons and living out of some big wreck left over from a pre-apocalyptic civilisation. In this instance they are led by Ice-T, wear lots of silly face makeup, or warpaint, they are good with technology and they live on the half destroyed Brooklyn Bridge. These Low-Tek's (opposite of high-tec I presume) also happen to have a dolphin in a large tank (seemed cruel to me) that used to be used by the Navy for its natural inbuilt decryption cracking skills. How they managed to get a hold of this dolphin, its tank and how they look after it I don't know, don't question it. What a result for Johnny though! this mammal can help him get the data out of his head, but first we need lots of shitty action. Yes looking back this movie has terrible action sequences, I mean really bad. Not only does it all look very hokey, as does the whole movie, but its just utterly boring. Its funny because even though this film did badly upon release I do recall the trailer and how it showed this feature to be some kind of kickass futuristic romp with guns 'a' blazing and quickfire quips, [i]hit me![/i]. At the time it did go down well with some folk, I know because I saw it in the cinema and people actually liked it! Its just interesting how cinema has evolved and what actually passed for entertainment back then. Like I said the action is pitiful, cheesy, fake looking, tacky and full of obvious stunts. There is the odd cool bit of decapitation, a semi-sexy laser whip thing that cuts through anything (people's necks) and the odd cool image that stands out...mainly Reeves posing with a gun, virtual reality headset or clenching his teeth. The movie generally looks pretty bad these days with some awful bluescreen work and drab nasty looking sets. The CGI sequences aren't too bad and add much needed colour to the proceedings, whilst everything else we see is set within a dark, seedy, dull, gunmetal coloured environment, within a ruined world. It sounds atmospheric but really it isn't, it looks cheap, like a rock music video set and like every other post apocalyptic sci-fi action thriller. Don't forget the obligatory night club scene, always gotta have one of those. There are some nice ideas in here which could of translated well into a movie. Some stuff is rather cliched these days (skyscrapers of corporate capitalism rising from the dying embers of society with rich powerful syndicates ruling the poor with an iron fist) but it could of worked. Alas all we get with this is many plot holes, many questions and many deviations from the source material. I do like the fact they went down the adult rating route which makes the movie reasonably bearable, at least the corny violence from characters like the mad Preacher (Dolph) are fun to watch, you know this would easily be a PG-13 these days. In the end the plot is messy, pacing is way off, it is boring, it looks dismal, lacklustre and is full of computer jargon based dialog that tries way too hard to sound cool. Oh and did this movie predict the iPhone brand name??! 'I need a Sino-logic 16. Sogo 7 Data Gloves, a GPL stealth module, one Burdine intelligent translator...Thompson iPhone'

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The future's most wanted fugitive. Good enough movie! The plot was a cliche cyber-thriller and you must have known that even just buy the back of the box or the trailer. It delivered a plot that was kind of cool, an star that does some one-liners, and action. If these three things were not what you wanted from this film then you shouldn't have went. It just delivers an action/adventure movie, nothing short of what promised. Don't be critical on films that are obviously intended as sheer dumb fun from start to finish... if these scripts even tried to be thinker, they'd be boring. Overall, its a very interesting sci-fi flick which has its ups and downs. In 2021, the whole world is connected by the gigantic Internet, and almost a half of the population is suffering from the Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS).Johnny with an inplanted memory chip in his brain was ordered to transport the over loaded information from Beijing to Newark. While Pharmakom Industries supported by yakuza tries to capture him to get the informaiton back, the Low-tech group led by J-Bone tries to break the missing code to download the cure of NAS which Johnny carries.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


Speaking of garbage cinema, here's another to add to the pile. You may like Keanu Reeves but you have to admit it - he is absolutely awful in this. We all know he's no Oliver Reed or anything, but my god, he is atrocious in his role of "Just Johnny." This is full of bad dialogue from beginning to end, but it still has some charm to it. Maybe it's due to my love for Blade Runner and anything resembling it that I liked it, but I won't ignore how crappy it is. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it made me cringe at times, which isn't good. I hear there's an extended version floating around out there somewhere and I'd like to see it sometime. Will it remedy everything? Doubtful, but it'll be interesting nonetheless.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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