Sometimes it's like Hulu and Crackle can just read my brain, because more often than not, when I think about revisiting a film, it automatically shows up on either of those apps, which is just what happened with Freejack. Somehow this title popped in my head and I began looking into grabbing myself a copy since Netflix didn't have it to rent as a physical DVD or to stream. Literally a few days later it shows up on Crackle, and I couldn't be happier. So let's dig in.
Loosely based on the short story Imortality, Inc., Freejack tells the story of a professional race car driver who's teleported through time into the future a second before a car crash would ultimately kill him in the present. Once in the future, he needs to figure out why people are trying to kill him as well as how and why he just experienced time travel.
Freejack was just the thing I needed to scratch my 90's sci-fi/action itch. While not spectacular in budget or story by any means, it still remains a highly satisfying film due largely to it's ultra-slick style, some outstanding direction and action sequences courtesy of director Geoff Murphy (Young Guns 2, Under Siege 2), and a healthy dose of cult character actors that bring this film to life. And don't be fooled by it's mediocre reception and reputation, Freejack is a really good film, full of style, grit and a very ultra -cool 90's vibe that acts as a stark reminder of how films like this "used" to be made back in the day. And I think that's one of the things I liked most about this futuristic tale. There are no flying cars or spaceships, but rather a future steeped in more of a reality-based setting where old and new are mixed, much in the same way Timecop did it, another excellent 90's sci-fi/action entry. With the exception of 2 questionable effects scenes, the fact that they use practical and optical effects more than anything really gives the film a lot of character. It's the future so there's definitely a futuristic design to everything, but it's more gritty than glossy, which works great.
Emilio Estevez is a fine actor, but I can't help but feel he's a bit wrong for the lead in this. He does a fine job regardless, but he comes across as ill-fitting for the role. And then there's Mick Jagger, who's a far more bizarre choice as the lead gun-for-hire-assassin who spends the film relentlessly hunting down Alex Furlong (Estevez). I never in a million years would have picked Jagger for the role, and after finally revisiting it, my feelings haven't changed. He's a truly bizarre choice and a completely wasted bit of stunt casting. While not a bad actor in the least, his performance is so bland that I struggle to find anything amusing or interesting about his character or performance. Had Jagger been even slightly amusing, hammy or even charismatic, then that would have been far better than what he's like in this film. But sadly, he is not, and so it's both a wasted performance and a wasted role. And then there's Anthony Hopkins, who does what he does well and shows up from time to time being Anthony Hopkins without even trying and delivers a role that reminds me of his turn in the HBO series Westworld. At least he's not trying to do an American accent.
How to see it:
Freejack is currently available for free on the Crackle app, which I use through my XBOX 360. It's in HD and widescreen, so I would hurry and jump on this while you can, as I "think" Crackle changes their films up month to month. So time is wasting! If you need a physical copy, you can pick up a Laserdisc, VHS and DVD all for under $5 each, but be warned, the 2000 DVD release is bare bones, but does come in widescreen thankfully.