Johnny Mnemonic (Keanu Reeves) low angle shot

Johnny Mnemonic

In 2021, the whole world is connected by the gigantic Internet, and almost a half of the population is suffering from the Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS). Johnny with an implanted memory chip in his brain was ordered to transport the over loaded information from Beijing to Newark. While PharmaCom Industries supported by Yakuza tries to capture him to get the information back, the Low-tech group led by J-Bone tries to break the missing code to download the cure of NAS which Johnny carries.


Although the film did very poorly upon release, the concept of the film, which is loosely based on the short story Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson, is still a good one.

Basically, the title character is a man with a cybernetic brain implant designed to store large amounts of information. In a world where industrial espionage is big business and hackers can penetrate virtually any system, the concept of a highly trained courier with cybernetic wet ware implants is fascinating.

Keanu Reeves turns in a decent performance.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Johnny is a Mnemonic Agent with cybernetic wetware implants in his skull. With it he can store large amounts of data that can then be delivered to another location or person for a fee.

He prefers to negotiate rather than resort to violence, but when action demands it he can engage multiple opponents single handedly.

He is highly knowledgeable in security systems and implies to Jane that he used to be a professional thief.

Additional context

Big Mother is Watching You

Throughout the film, Johnny seems to be watched over by a ’guardian angel‘? in the form of an advanced A.I.. This particular A.I. was modeled after Anna Kalmann, the former CEO of the mega corporation PharmaCom Pharmaceuticals Industries.

Takahashi, the new CEO of PharmaCom, is advised by the A.I. not to have Johnny killed as he carries in his implant the cure to NAS, a deadly disease that plagues future Earth.

Johnny Mnemonic (Keanu Reeves) with virtual reality equipment

This A.I. comes to assist Johnny several times throughout the film. It warns him of danger as when the Yakuza hit squad had discovered his location, attempts to dissuade Takahashi from continuing pursuit of Johnny, and even helps Johnny crack the security systems of his implant.

It is implied in the film (though never confirmed) that Anna Kalmann maybe Johnny’s real mother.

The Net neighborhood

Johnny has developed contacts among the hacker community operating on the Net over the years. One hacker in particular, Stryke, is said in film to owe Johnny a big favor.

Shinji, the lead Yakuza assassin sent after Johnny, is also aware of Johnny’s connections on the Net and uses this information to track him down.



Johnny appears as a well dressed businessman in typical suit and tie made of very good quality materials. He wears his dark hair short and always appears clean shaven.


Johnny is a consummate professional. He prefers to negotiate rather than resort to violence, but when action demands it he can engage multiple opponents single handedly. He is highly knowledgeable in security systems and implies to Jane that he used to be a professional thief.


“I can carry nearly 80 gigs of data in my head. Twice that with a doubler.”

“If I wanted the silicon dug out of my back brain I would have gone to Mexico City ! I want a full restoration; I want it all back !”

Johnny Mnemonic (Keanu Reeves) brandishes a pistol

“You know, all my life, I’ve been careful to stay in my own little corner. Looking out for Number One… no complications. Now, suddenly, I’m responsible for the *entire fucking world*, and everybody and his mother is trying to kill me, IF… IF… my head doesn’t blow up first.”

“Listen. You listen to me. You see that city over there ? THAT’s where I’m supposed to be. Not down here with the dogs, and the garbage, and the fucking last month’s newspapers blowing back and forth ! I’ve had it with them ! I’ve had it with you ! I’ve had it with ALL THIS ! I want ROOM SERVICE ! I want the club sandwich. I want the cold Mexican beer. I want a $10,000-a-night hooker ! I want my shirts laundered… like they do… at the Imperial Hotel… in Tōkyō.”

DC Universe History

Although Johnny Mnemonic and all subsequent characters works better in their own self contained universe, they could be placed in the Batman Beyond setting since the tech noir aspect suits the two worlds very well.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Johnny Mnemonic

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Mnemonic Agent/courier
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 023 HP: 025

Data Storage: 27

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Data Storage is provided by a cybernetic wet ware implant that has a sophisticated security protection system rated by at least 10 APs.
  • If Johnny uploads more data then he can store with his implant he will suffer from progressively worsening headaches, seizures, and possibly permanent brain damage and death.

Acrobatics (Dodging): 06, Artist (Actor, Sleight of hand): 05, Detective: 06, Evasion (Ranged only): 06, Martial Artist*: 05, Scientist (Computers): 10, Thief (Security systems): 12, Vehicle (Land)*: 05, Weaponry (firearms, melee)*: 05

Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Covert cyber intrusion methods), Sharp Eye, Streetwise.

Jane (High – by film’s end), J-Bone (Low – middle to end of film), Ralfi (Low, loses this completely when Ralfi betrays him), Stryke (computer hacker ,Low), Hacker community (Low).

Enemy (Shinji), MPI (memory loss — had memories of his childhood removed to make room for his cybernetic brain implant).


  • Mnemonic encoder device [BODY 02]. This device, which is concealed and carried in a special briefcase, enables a client (or other) to upload data into Johnny’s cyber implant and also encrypts it.
    The device can be connected to a TV monitor where the client is instructed by Johnny to select 3 random images by changing channels that will act as ’password‘? codes for the uploaded data. The client keeps one image, Johnny keeps the second image, and the third image is sent to the data recipient. Only when all 3 images are entered at the same time by the data’s recipient will the encryption unlock whatever data was uploaded to Johnny’s implant.
    For security reasons Johnny refuses to see the contents of any data stored in his implant. He can, however, attempt to hack his own cyber implant as he did at the end of the film. He will then be forced to confront a highly sophisticated security system built into his own implant to prevent Mnemonic Agents from doing just that.
  • Mnemonic Doubler [BODY 01]. This hand held device, when connected to the implant Johnny has in his head, can double the amount of his normal storage capacity.
  • Disguise Kit [BODY 01, Chameleon: 07, Limitations: Chameleon is only for facial and head areas, so it does not mimic clothing (-1)]. Johnny used this in the beginning of the film to disguise himself in order to evade capture by the Yakuza. Since he only used this once it is unclear if he has access to other variants.
  • Sino-logic 16 [INT 06 BODY 02, Mind Probe: 06, Telepathy: 08, Interface: 08, Superspeed: 04, Bonuses & Limitations : Mind Probe and Telepathy only work on computerized equipment and require a physical connection) (-2FC); Superspeed only reduces time to complete mental tasks while in cyberspace (-2 FC)]
  • Sogo 7 Data Gloves [BODY 02, Interface: 08, Scientist (Computers): 08]. Used to manipulate cyberspace and implied to allow Johnny to initiate attacks against other people or systems.
  • GPL stealth module [BODY 01, Thief (Stealth): 08] used to evade detection from all but the most sophisticated security systems.
  • Burdine intelligent translator [BODY 01, Comprehend Languages: 12, Limitations: only seen to translate written language, but could also probably translate spoken language]. Used by Johnny in the film to translate language from Chinese to English, but can probably translate any Earth language.
  • Thompson iPhone [BODY: 02, Interface: 08, Radio Communications: 25]. A visor-like device that enables the wearer to ’see‘ the cyberspace landscape and navigate quickly and easily through virtually any region on Earth that is connected to the Net.

By Pur_See_i8.

Source of Character: Johnny Mnemonic film 1995 played by Keanu Reeves.

Helper(s): IMDB , wikipedia.