This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Freejack is definitely a film with a lot going on. It’s a pretty fun sci-fi title with a unique view on the future. Sure we’ve seen some of these elements before like body snatching and the dystopia world but it mixes in enough of these to feel different. I also think it had a fun script at times. It’s not perfect though with my main issue being that the main character can be a bit annoying and it feels like he’s trying to sabotage the group after a while.
The film starts with everything going really well for Alex. He has a fiancé who is already thinking about marriage and he’s a top racer. Unfortunately he is snatched into the future by some kind of sci-fi device and barely lives through the experience. They try to stab him with some kind of other sci-fi device so he runs off and hops in a cab but the driver tries to murder him so he runs off into the city and meets up with his best friend Ian. Unfortunately Ian betrays him for money so he finds his fiancé but then she sells him out to the government so he’s all on his own. Why is everyone against him? Alex knows that he will need to do something or he’s about to die unceremoniously and alone but if there’s one thing he’s always been good at, it’s improvising…in theory. Can he survive this experience?
I will say it’s a bit funny how everything turns out badly for him at first though. Seriously when the cab driver is trying to take you down as well then you know you’re in a real pickle here. Now you do have to cut Julie some slack for not believing that Alex was back from the dead. There is a good reason for this which is that in the future “Freejacks” (Or they might just be called Jacks) are bodies of dead people that have been purchased by someone in the future. So for example, Alex was “bought” by a rich person so he was taken away right before he died and in fact he would have died in a car crash if he wasn’t warped into the future. According to the law that means he is legally dead and would be possessed by someone.
The reason the mind transfer didn’t happen is because Alex escaped at the last possible moment but there’s no reason for Julie to actually believe that. It would seem like a real longshot but ultimately she does believe it is him. He’s rather sore about the initial reaction but I think he should have been more understanding all things considered. His worst moment is after that though. He’s still sulking and gets drunk at a bar where he talks to a camera crew which lets the villains know where he is. Cmon that’s just not smart. I get that he’s in shock still at everything going on but the one thing you shouldn’t do is heavy drinking then because that’s just going to get you in a lot of trouble.
Alex is good at driving though so I’ll give him that. One of the best parts of the film is a car chase early on where the bounty hunter Victor is after him. There’s a lot of back and forth as each one tries to get the edge and I like how Victor hacked Alex’s computer so he’s trash talking the whole time. The movie is definitely at its best when it is enjoying the banter between the characters and I think having more of the film take place on the road would have absolutely been a great idea. Trust me on this that would have been a really good idea.
The film also excels with the ending though. Without going into details there is a classic scenario where the villain starts the mind transfer but then the machine breaks. So the characters have to figure out if it’s Alex or Ian in the body and the way they get around this is fairly clever. The ending is just a blast with a certain character looking great and a lot of “playing it by ear” going on among various characters. I would go as far as to say that the ending was great to be honest and it was really a spectacular way to finish things off. A strong ending is important for any film so this ended on a high note.
Julie was a good main heroine. She did a solid job of really rising to the top ranks of a company while Alex was gone and she had a firm hold on her life. She didn’t let Alex’s disappearance break her and she was able to move on. It’s definitely the right approach and she helps out throughout the film. At times she is definitely more on the ball than Alex to be honest as the guy even nearly gets himself shot to death in a bar. I mean it’s good that he didn’t back off when the drunk guy made eye contact with him but it would be a really rough way to go. You didn’t die saving the world but looking at someone the wrong way? Not very hype on the tombstone.
Ian is sort of the main villain. I say sort of because I would give that to Victor in terms of screen time but Ian is the head honcho. He’s an old guy who wants to be immortal but he does have charisma so I thought that the film did a good job there. Victor steals the show though as he talks tough to everyone. He starts breaking random objects in the office of the guy who hired him which shows just how much confidence he has. I also liked the scene of him testing his right hand man and then saying he was actually testing the lie detector. Like I said there is a lot of very clever dialogue here.
The only real weak point here is the main character because he was really annoying at times. Technically I like the character type the film was going for. The very aggressive lead who is super confident and ready for action. He never backs down from a fight and those are all great traits but he could have been a little smarter. It would have made the whole film a lot easier for him as well since he gets lucky quite a few times otherwise. While the romance is okay, I think it’s going to be hard to make it work after the time skip since there should be close to a 15-18 year age difference now. That’s a fairly long gap even though you know the person. That said, I think a sequel would be very interesting given how this film ends. I think there’s a whole lot you could do with that.
Overall, I rather enjoyed Freejack. It’s a film that is having fun with the premise and showing us a dystopian world without being too gritty about it. You absolutely wouldn’t want to live in this future and that’s obvious as the characters walk around town but we don’t really dwell on that. Most of the film feels like it’s the main character running from place to place and trying not to get caught so the pacing is always really quick here. I also give it points for being very unique so if you’re looking for a solid sci-fi title then this one fits the bill.