Johnny Mnemonic

May 26th, 1995


more trailers Johnny Mnemonic

Still of Keanu Reeves and Dina Meyer in Johnny MnemonicStill of Keanu Reeves in Johnny MnemonicStill of Keanu Reeves, Dina Meyer and Udo Kier in Johnny MnemonicStill of Keanu Reeves in Johnny MnemonicStill of Keanu Reeves and Dina Meyer in Johnny MnemonicStill of Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic

A data courier, carrying a data package literally inside his head too large to hold for long, must deliver it before he dies from it.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 5.1/10 (28,197 voted)

Director: Robert Longo

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren, Dina Meyer

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.

Writers: William Gibson, William Gibson

Keanu Reeves - Johnny Mnemonic
Dina Meyer - Jane
Ice-T - J-Bone
Takeshi Kitano - Takahashi (as Takeshi)
Denis Akiyama - Shinji
Dolph Lundgren - Street Preacher
Henry Rollins - Spider
Barbara Sukowa - Anna Kalmann
Udo Kier - Ralfi
Tracy Tweed - Pretty
Falconer Abraham - Yomamma
Don Francks - Hooky
Diego Chambers - Henson
Sherry Miller - Takahashi's Secretary
Arthur Eng - Viet

Taglines: The future's most wanted fugitive.

Release Date: 26 May 1995

Filming Locations: Casa Loma - 1 Austin Terrace, Casa Loma, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,420,152 (USA) (29 May 1995)

Gross: $52,400,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:Japan:  | USA:

Did You Know?

The script was rumored to have been dumped on the doorstep of Keanu Reeves' house, a tactic that piqued his interest and led to him accepting the role of Johnny.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Spider is explaining to Johnny the cause of NAS.

Jane: [Johnny successfully picks a lock to a door of an electronic store] Where did you learn to do that?
Johnny Mnemonic: Had a summer job breaking and entering.

User Review

Cyberpunk at its best and worst

Rating: 9/10

I must start with a personal statement - I'm amazed at the silliness of those who bombastically declare this to be the worst movie of all times and so on... Really? Is it really that bad, worse than "Manos - The Hands of Fate" or "Cocoon - the Return"?

I think most of the people who diss this film fall, broadly, in three large categories: 1) those who are so attached to the original short story that they can't stand the idea of an eponymous film with a different vision (although, again, its Gibson himself who penned this script!) This is not "purism", but acting like brats - just like those who criticized the film "Resident Evil" for not "sticking closer to the original games". 2) then, there are those who have a personal dislike for Keanu Reeves, and they follow him over the 'net, criticizing him for "wooden acting". It doesn't matter to them that the Johnny character is exactly what Keanu portrays - an egotistic, self-absorbed bastard, who only cares about his posh clothes, cold Mexican beer and hookers (and there are already so many out there like him, in the real world!). Then 3) there are those who are simply too stupid to actually watch what's going on on the screen, because of personal convictions, education or background (i.e. those who mention Grenpeace and anti-capitalism as if they are capital crimes, or those who think PharmaKom is a Japanese company). I was particularly amused at the user who launched a furious diatribe against the idea of the Lo-Teks being so visible in the ruined bridge, despite the fact that the only time in which they actually identify themselves as the source of anti-establishment activities is the very end, when they also announce they'll be going off the air.

The list could go on. But this is supposed to be a review, not an answer to those who dislike the movie so vehemently.

I believe this is *the* film which, despite its occasional artistic shortcomings, connects "Blade Runner" to "The Matrix". It was a courageous endeavour, portraying an all-too possible near future, and reminded me of another picture, similarly vilified by simpletons who couldn't see beyond the surface - "Starship Troopers".

The sad fact is that the movie was mistreated, and what we ended by seeing on DVD in most of the world is not what the director intended. There is an alternative version (briefly mentioned on this site) which makes some significant changes, and it's available only in Japan.

First of all, the prologue is different and more poignant. Here it is, in this exact form:

"New century. Age of terminal capitalism.

The armored towers of multinational corporations rise above the ruins of the democracies that gave them birth.

Soldiers of the Yakuza defend them.

Hackers, data-pirates, LoTek media rebels are the enemy, burrowing like rats in the walls of cyberspace.

A new plague convulses the cities: Nerve Attenuation Syndrome, incurable, fatal, epidemic, bringing fear and misery as old as the species itself.

But the most precious data is sometimes entrusted to elite private agents, wetwired to function as human data banks.

Mnemonic couriers."

In this day and age, in the post-Enron, post-9/11 world, all the above doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore.

The film is more somber in the Japanese version. We see more of Takahashi's inner desolation, and there are some added bits of gore and violence in the Beijing fight. Johnny himself is much more of a corporate puppet - we see it from a longer dialogue with the hooker in the hotel room, or in the scene in which he acquires the memory doubler. We see J-Bone sticking a syringe in the dolphin, sadistically commenting how the creature is a junkie.

There is also more realism involved (Spoiler alert!): the hero doesn't somehow miraculously recover his childhood memories after being connected to Jones. And we see how Johnny, exhausted, decides to get it over with, despite a dire warning that the "looping" procedure through the dolphin will most certainly kill him. That is a moment of pure redemption, sadly lost in the official European and North-American film versions.

Last but not least, the extended cut gives more screen time to Lundgren's "mad preacher" character. We see him sermonizing in his church, in front of a rapt audience, using words and gestures that are scarily familiar to anyone who has watched an Evangelical TV channel. He discovers along the way that Johnny's "load" is the miraculous cure for NAS, and he covets it for himself - he even shouts he wants to "become (like) God." It's easy to see why "some circles" decided to eliminate all this potentially uncomfortable content... but we ended up with a caricature, instead of a cunning and shrewd film villain.

Johnny, we barely knew you.