Discuss Freejack

Before the release of "Freejack," industry publications claimed that as much as 40 percent of it was reshot to fix problems with the story. And a 1991 article in the L.A. Daily News describes how the director shot new scenes to add more characterization and "broad humor" (the Victor Maitlin guy being kicked in the balls!) to the film as originally shot.

Since there isn't an original shooting script floating around the Net, it's left to the viewer to watch for seams where it looks like "Freejack" got re-edited. Here's some of what I've noticed:

  • What I'm talking about is stuff like some funny editing when Alex, pretending to hold Julie "hostage," goes up the elevator to the Victor Maitlin guy's office, a scene which appears to have been spliced in after the fact. It's set up with a very awkward shot of Ripper (Esai Morales) saying, "They're headed for Michelette's office!" which then cuts to stock footage of Mick Jagger from an earlier part of the movie, to make it look like he's listening to him.

  • I am starting to wonder if, originally, Hopkins was not dead but still alive for the body swap! At first you see him in the desert "welcome to my mind" landscape. So far, he looks healthy. But then after the transfer machine rises out of the ground, we see an inconsistent view of Hopkins, now right there in the room with Emilio, differently lit, and with an unhealthy look to his skin.

The "welcome to my mind" scene, along with the "he's been in this coffin for two days" setup, seem as if they could have been added after the fact. My theory is that the original script called for Emilio to stand face to face with a dying, creepy MacCandless, but they decided to raise the stakes a little more with the surreal stuff.

  • When the future Rene first meets Emilio in her apartment, some of her reaction ("You're not Alex, you're the bastard that took his body!") is off-camera, making me wonder if the dialogue in this scene was re-recorded to change some of her motivation.

  • Other elevator funny business. Rene mumbles a weird line about an "escape module" on floor 100 that seems like an awkward after-the-fact insertion. Also, is it me or do Rene and Emilio look oddly matted into the lift in some scenes?

  • There's something odd about the lobby shootout between the Bonejackers and Michellete's security detail. First of all, there's a funny-looking Rene Russo double in the elevator. Second, given the elevator funny business above, I wondered if this was supposed to happen in a different part of the ending sequence.

  • Do you think the ending was supposed to be different, like a "Scanners" ending where we're not sure if Emilio is McCandless? Some of the best stuff in the movie is in the last act...but it also feels like maybe it was shuffled around, given that the two CG sequences seem so different in style.

You guys think maybe Mick Jagger wasn't originally supposed to help him out, but the Michelette subplot was changed so that he had more motivation to help Emilio? Just a thought. Anyway, one of my guilty favorites.


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