A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

August 23, 2008

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)


– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)


In the 21st century, information is the ultimate commodity. The most valuable of information is transported in mnemonic implants in the heads of professional mnemonic couriers like Johnny (Keanu Reeves – Speed) who offer both security and confidentiality for the right price.But Johnny has paid a heavy price of his own – He’s dumped his own memories to make room for the programs he smuggles. To buy them back he agrees to deliver priceless data, the most important data of the 21st century, data that has already set an army of professional killers on his trail. but the massive upload is too much for his brain and johnny must find the secret codes to download the information – or die.


The movie welcomes the viewer with the following scrolling message:

“The most valuable information must sometimes be entrusted to mnemonic couriers, elite agents, who smuggle data in WET-WIRED BRAIN IMPLANTS“.

Thus already leaving the viewer with an impression that those people who have “wet-wired” brain implants have some kind of elevated status of specialty compared to those who don’t.

Thematic PP elements:

  1. There’s an all around police state “doom and gloom” kind of setting in a littery kind of environment. Throughout the entire duration of the movie the atmosphere is dark and dreary and moments with daylight are only experienced when the main character reminisces about times gone past, way gone past. This may familiarize the viewer with the depressing nature of the times that lay ahead of us.
  2. The moments of Johnny doing his downloading/uploading routine through his brain implant, are accompanied by flashy, colorful and cartoon-like computer generated images and graphics. This impresses the viewer with the obvious notion that brain implants are cool, trendy and flashy. There’s also a sense or suggestion of excitement transmitted by the straining JM character to the viewer. The more excitement experienced by the JM character the more the viewer, typically craving for more excitement, will be attracted to its perceived cause, i.e. the brain chip.As an aside, this is also the reason why Hollywood tries to “up the sales” of violence by blending images of violence with that of sex, IMO.

Then there were a couple of interesting suggestive phrases uttered in the movie:

  1. At one time JM goes: “I want to get online, I need a computer”. Since the sympathy of movie lies with JM this helps to communicate a sense of urgency for the viewer to do the same, and that is precisely what they want.
  2. There’s a reference to a one Dr. Alcom, “All computer”. Thus wedding the association of man and computer even more.

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib�gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)
Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police
Dark Knight (2008) – Excusing the Rude & Stoic Strongman Crime Fighter

1 Comment »

  1. Has anyone else spotted Jodie Foster in “Johnny Mnemonic” ?

    I think she has a walk by as Dina Meyer is having her first Nerve Attenuation Syndrome attack. At least it looks very much like Jodie Foster and they do a big close up on her for a second or so.

    Comment by Colin Hall — April 10, 2010 @ 7:41 am | Reply

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