How To Kill Production Value: Freejack (1992)

Production value isn’t something most people think about when watching a movie, though it’s there, and it’s crucial.

In this instance I’m referring to vehicles though the same thing can be said about other aspects of production, such as locations, buildings, clothing and physical props.

I happened to be watching Freejack, a somewhat cheesy movie revolving around a race car driver, Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez), who’s kidnapped by Victor Vacendak (Mick Jagger, who’s surprisingly bland, exuding little in the way of menace) who’s taken at the point of what would have been his death into the future – how far into the future I’m not entirely sure, though considering that his manager, Brad Carter (David Johanson) and girlfriend, Julie Redlund (Renee Russo) are not only still alive, but not looking much older than when Furlong was ‘alive,’ makes me think that the future the movie references can’t be any more 10 years – if that – down the road.

As I said, the movie is fairly cheesy but watchable.

That is, till I this:

Alex Furlong is in the Chevy S10 (another indicator that the future isn’t at all a distant one) while Vacendak is sticking out of the red armored troop carrier.

Notice I wrote ‘red’ troop carrier. Why is it red? Notice that there’s also a blue one.

Why is it blue? Military vehicles offer great production value with minimal tweaking.

Changing the color makes them not only more obvious, but silly-looking.

And that’s where production value is lost.

By contrast, here’s a screenshot from 2002’s Equilibrum

Notice the vehicle on the right.

I believe it’s actually a fire engine, but its white coloration – which I assume isn’t its actual color – nonetheless fits into its environment.

You don’t question it.

Here’s another vehicle, and it as well fits into the overall milieu.

The coloration makes it noticeable, but not in a distracting manner, like in Freejack.

Each of the pictured vehicles, despite appearing only occasionally, only add value to the production and make the world the movie is trying to depict even more effective.


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