Emilio Estevez And Mick Jagger's Freejack Showdown Caused Chaos On The Streets Of New York

"Freejack" is a weird little movie for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was just too ahead of its time with its themes of bodily autonomy and technological terror. Maybe its combination of cyberpunk traits made it too similar to movies like "Blade Runner" for audiences at the time to admire it by itself. And of course, maybe the film was just too ambitious for its own good, resulting in ideas that sound amazing in theory but fall flat in execution. There's been a small movement to reevaluate "Freejack," and if we're being completely honest, we wouldn't be opposed to that within reason.

One pivotal scene from the film is likely remembered by two different groups of people. One of these groups, of course, unironically enjoys Geoff Murphy's attempt at adapting Robert Sheckley's "Immortality, Inc." for modern audiences. The other group, however, are the New Yorkers caught in the middle of a hectic stunt involving dummies of Emilio Estevez and fireballs.

Okay, I should probably explain this scene. Estevez's character, racecar driver Alex, is speeding away from the mercenary Victor Vacendak (Mick Jagger). When the truck he's driving gets stuck on the Williamsburg Bridge, he jumps out of it as it smashes its way down into the East River below. That description alone should help you understand why shooting that scene was such a major problem for New Yorkers.

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The majority of filming for "Freejack" took place in Atlanta, Georgia. However, there were some scenes that utilized New York City's iconic structures to better serve the plot. This pivotal and explosive chase was one such scene — after all, the Williamsburg Bridge isn't exactly something you can easily replicate with miniatures or sets. The same thing can be said for the East River and the instantly-recognizable NYC skyline.

The chronicle of getting this scene on camera was written up in The Los Angeles Times, which did a piece on its production. Journalist John Culhane revealed in the profile that three separate cameras were deployed to shoot the Estevez dummy falling into the water. However, no cameras were pointed at the massive backup the film crew caused to make this scene a reality.

"Traffic was stopped for five minutes," wrote Culhane. "It quickly backed up along Delancey Street for half a block and [startled] New Yorkers honking with practiced impatience."

Admittedly, I've only been to New York City once in my life, so I can't talk about its traffic as if I'm a local. However, I will say that they are pretty damn impatient with their constantly-busy traffic, so a simple five-minute delay likely felt like hours. Couple that with the distant fireball mechanic blasting from the side of a bridge extension, and that's a commute I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Yes, that includes anyone in the future who would want to steal my body for the rich.