Freejack is a 1992 science fiction film directed by Geoff Murphy. It stars Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Rene Russo, Jonathan Banks, and Anthony Hopkins. Upon its release in the United States, the film received harsh reviews. The story was adapted from a 1959 novel titled Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley. Aside from the most basic elements, however — the journey of a modern man into a future where everything is for sale, and the presence of a “spiritual switchboard” in which souls are suspended — the cyberpunk plot bears little resemblance either in tone or content to Sheckley’s story, which depicts a world of zombies.
In the year 2009, the super-wealthy achieve immortality by hiring “bonejackers,” mercenaries equipped with time travel devices, to snatch people from the past, just prior to the moment of their deaths, for use as substitute bodies. Those who flee, rather than allowing their minds to be replaced with those of the rich, are known as “freejacks,” and considered less than human under the law.
Alex Furlong (Estevez) is a Formula One car racer who is just about to die in a spectacular 1991 crash when a time machine snatches him from the cockpit and into the 21st century Bronx, a wasteland populated by scavengers and killers. When Furlong’s captors are ambushed by a hit squad, the time traveler is able to escape from Victor Vacendak (Jagger), a hardened mercenary who has snatched him on behalf of the all-powerful McCandless Corporation. As it turns out, Alex’s former fiancée Julie Redlund (Russo) is now an executive at McCandless, handling high-stakes mineral negotiations with a rival Japanese firm.
Alex spends much of the film escaping the clutches of Victor, a ruthless pursuer who nevertheless lives by a code of honor, and rekindling his relationship with Julie. Ian McCandless, Julie’s boss (Hopkins), is revealed to be the dying man trying to steal Furlong’s body, as he himself died on a business trip out of town.
However, not only do Alex and Julie have to evade Vacendak’s army of security guards and the McCandless Corporation Police forces, they also have to deal with running from the private guards of McCandless’ corporate X.O., Mark Michellete (Jonathan Banks), who is gunning for McCandless’ job as boss of the McCandless Corporation. Alex can’t even trust his old friends from 1991, who are now happy to sell him out.
Tired of running, Furlong, pretending to take Julie hostage, negotiates with Michellete to arrange a meeting with the powerful McCandless executive, counting on his not knowing about the past relationship between the two. But as it turns out, Michellete has seen the footage of Julie’s desperate grief after Alex’s 1991 accident. After she slaps him in return for his mockery, the couple has to go on the run again. Their plans to flee into the lobby, however, are thwarted when they encounter a gunfight between two factions, now in opposition: McCandless’s security guards and Vacendak’s mercenaries.
Despite Julie’s plan to leave the building through an “escape module” on the hundredth floor, the elevator takes them automatically to the complex at the very top of the building where McCandless’ mind is in storage. In a virtual reality encounter with McCandless’s essence, he explains his goal: to use Alex’s body to satiate his love for Julie. Apologizing, he offers to die and let Alex run the company under the guise of being McCandless.
Julie says it could be pulled off as Vacendak arrives. McCandless was merely stalling for time as Alex was forced into the apparatus: Alex protests, “You don’t need a new body, you need a new soul, and there isn’t a machine to give you one!” Alex fights the process just as Michellette stumbles in, wounded from fighting Vacendak’s soldiers. In the confusion, Julie grabs the gun of the soldier holding her and fires off a shot that destroys the processing crystal which conducts the transfer process. The results are inconclusive as to whether or not it is McCandless or Furlong in Alex’s body now. The scientists cannot determine the answer, but Vacendak can, as only Vacendak knows a secret code McCandless gave him.
Alex reads the code, slowly, and Vacendak asks him to continue. Alex finishes the code quickly. Mr. Michellete tries to kill Alex but is gunned down by Vacendak’s men. Alex remarks about how he feels in his ‘new’ body, before telling Julie that she will be dressed more appropriately so that the two of them can take a drive.
Hours later, after the coup is over, Julie and Alex get into one of McCandless’ favorite vehicles; Alex tells the driver that he will do the driving today. As he wheels the vehicle out of the estate gates, a line of Vacendak’s security personnel stand before them with their firearms ready. Alex never knew, that McCandless never drives himself. Vacendak then reveals, that Alex ‘wasn’t even close’ to the secret number he recited to affirm his identity. He waves off the guards and Alex and Julie speed off into the distance.