Some movies are so bad, they’re good. Freejack is a 1992 cult classic that falls neatly into that category. This dystopian sci-fi cheese-fest stars Emilio Estevez, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, and the Rolling Stones’ very own Mick Jagger. Freejack is streaming now in all its campy glory on Peacock.
Mick Jagger is a time-traveling kidnapping criminal in Freejack, a gloriously cheesy sci-fi film streaming on Peacock.
Estevez plays Alex Furlong, a Formula One race car driver who, moments before his death in a fiery crash, is transported from 1991 to 2009 by a group of mercenaries led by Mick Jagger. He arrives in a dismal future where exposure to drugs and pollution wreaks havoc on human health.
Billionaires employ time-traveling thugs, called bonejackers, to bring healthy bodies from the past to them. A consciousness transfer process implants the minds of the wealthy into the vibrant bodies of those thought to be dead in their own time.
Anthony Hopkins plays Ian McCandless, the head of the powerful McCandless Corporation. McCandless hires the Mick Jagger character, Victor Vacendak, to bring Furlong to him. When he arrives in the future, Furlong escapes the bonejackers, becoming what the bounty hunters call a “freejack” (roll credits).
Emilio Estevez’s character must outrun the pursuant forces of Mick Jagger, Anthony Hopkins, and Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks. As if being on the run wasn’t enough, he must also fight to rekindle a romance with his 1991 girlfriend, Julie Redlund, played by the extraordinary Rene Russo.
Freejack has a bonkers sci-fi premise that may actually be the start of a great movie, which is exactly what attracted stars like Mick Jagger to the picture. A wacky script and studio interference turned Freejack into a film messier and cheesier than a fondue fountain.
Based on the 1959 science fiction novel Immortality, Inc., the film was written by Robert Sheckley, Steven Pressfield, and Ronald Shusett, and directed by Geoff Murphy. Emilio Estevez would go on to criticize Murphy’s handling of Freejack, which prioritized bombastic action over character.
Freejack has the makings of a sci-fi classic, which is why stars like Mick Jagger, Emilio Estevez, and Anthony Hopkins signed on.
As the production was coming together, Men in Black actress Linda Fiorentino was in line for the part of Julie. Due to scheduling conflicts, she was replaced with Rene Russo. About three weeks before filming began, Mick Jagger was approached for his role.
The Rolling Stones frontman accepted on a whim, intrigued by the pitch of the story he received. He later stated that had he considered the part any longer, he likely would have declined.
Despite its stellar cast, Freejack had a troubled production. Audiences reacted poorly to the film’s initial test screening, leading to much of the film being reshot. The effort was to no avail.
Critics massacred the film when it was released. Freejack slumps with a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 26 percent, doing even worse with audiences at 25 percent.
Freejack did not fare well at the box office, either. The $30 million movie grossed only $37 worldwide, nowhere near enough to recoup print and advertising costs. Adding to the disparaging comments about the film from Emilio Estevez and Mick Jagger, Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar in 1992 for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs, has publicly shamed the film.
In spite of the knocks from critics and the cast, Freejack has earned a place among many filmgoers as a delightful cult classic. Not only does it have an awesome science fiction premise, it has freaking Mick Jagger in it!
Freejack earned $37 million worldwide, making it a sizable cinematic flop, with Mick Jagger, Emilio Estevez, and Anthony Hopkins denouncing the movie.
Few movies in history can boast a rock star in a prominent role, and few rock stars even come close to the level of Mick Jagger. Rising to insane fame and acclaim through the 1960s, Mick Jagger took his first acting gig in 1970’s Ned Kelly, and turned up again the same year in Performance.
Mick Jagger acted on and off for the next two decades, but he was undoubtedly a little rusty by the time Freejack rolled around. He still manages to pull together a fascinating and, at times, even credible performance as the film’s heavy.
For its cast of superstars, Freejack is remembered as a blemish on their prestigious careers. For lovers of cheesy sci-fi flicks, it is a movie night staple. If you can get your hands on a worn-out VHS copy of Freejack, that would be ideal. The next best thing would be to head over to Peacock to stream Mick Jagger and the gang in a movie no one will ever forget, no matter how hard they try.