In the second decade of the 21st century the transport of data has become both costly and dangerous which is why it has lead to some humans making a living through having implants placed into their brain so that they can transport data. Johnny Mnemonic (Keanu Reeves) is one of these people but he wants the surgery to remove the implant and return to normal except it costs a lot of money so he is going to have to do a very dangerous courier job to earn the money. But not only does Johnny have to worry about the Yakuza who want what is stored in his brain but he has exceeded his maximum storage capacity which means unless he downloads what he is carrying his head will explode within 24 hours.
90s high tech visuals combined with Keanu Reeves severely wooden acting makes "Johnny Mnemonic" one of those movies which is so bad that at times it becomes entertaining for being so bad. It's not that the idea itself is bad as the concept of a future where to secure transport of data people use neural implants has potential for depth it is just what is done with this idea ends up both shallow and incredibly poor.
Part of the trouble with "Johnny Mnemonic" is visually it is hilarious and I don't mean watching it now almost 20 years after it was released but it was hilarious back in 1995. From the generic look of the future to the gadgets which are used to implant data it just fails to visually thrill you. The worst part of these is the computer animations of data being transferred on the 21st century internet as they are terrible. These are the same sort of visuals which studios used back in the day when people's knowledge of computers and the internet was limited and they thought they could impress with this sort of nonsense.
But the troubles keep on coming with Keanu Reeves delivering what for me could be one of his worst performances. The conflict in his acting is hilarious as he delivers dialogue in such an over the top cliche manner that it is embarrassing. Maybe that was the intention, maybe this was meant to be almost spoof like in being over the top almost comic book but it simply doesn't work and is terrible from start to finish. It is not just the acting because when it comes to the action Reeves again is incredibly wooden and you begin to question how he ended up getting the gig in "The Matrix" just 4 years later.
What this all boils down to is that "Johnny Mnemonic" is a bad movie but a movie which could have been so much better and is now screaming out to be remade. There are numerous issues with it but the combination of Keanu Reeves and the special effects are the main reasons why it becomes laughable.