Thefanboyseo.com offers our Ghost in the Shell movie review starring Scarlett Johansson. Now Showing from United International Pictures and Columbia Pictures Philippines.

This Western adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s anime and manga series is finally here and because I wasn’t a big fan of the film when it was announced years ago, I had actually enjoyed the film to a certain level. I have to give them props though, the film is a decent translation of the classic cyberpunk anime and manga series.

Scarlett Johansson plays the role of “The Major”, a woman whose brain has been transferred to a cybernetic body which they romanticize in the film and the entire lore as a “shell”. Her soul aka “ghost” remains intact only its shrouded in mystery. The film takes all the good stuff from the anime series and even the manga and then uses that in different scenes. But the movie’s structure is very similar to the other futuristic Hollywood films.

Style-wise Rupert Sanders’ version of the future is nice and visually appetizing. It’s got the elements and feels from the first ‘Ghost in the Shell’ animated film but just like the theme of having your soul transferred to a different shell, they lost some of soul in the process.

What I’m trying to tell you is that if you’re expecting the cyberpunk feel of Ghost in the Shell you won’t see it. It’s more ‘Blade Runner’ than ‘Akira’ for this movie. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Scarlett Johansson as Major is fun to watch. Sure there were moments where she drops that gorgeous face and look dorky or silly but there were truly great moments in her acting that makes you want to feel for her (even though she herself is mostly unfeeling and detached). Had she not done 2014’s Lucy, I would be campaigning in the streets to get her more GITS projects. Even a Japanese version with her in the lead but alas, Lucy exists and that’s generally Akira-by-Hollywood already.

For you crazy anime fans reading this review, the ‘disrobing’ of Motoko Kusanagi in this movie definitely here; as well as the insta-classic deep diver; even fucking Batou is here and he’s adorable to watch in this version.

And while we’re on the subject of supporting characters, we need to give a Shia Lebouf clap to the studio for adding classic Japanese gangster movie icon “Beat” Takeshi Kitano to play the role of Division 9 boss Aramaki.

Thematically there were a few things that really stood out both positively and negatively which makes this Ghost in the Shell movie review such a hard review to write and publish.

So let me just do a bullet points to save you the agony of reading through my rants.

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review Good Stuff

  • Batou was awesome with and without his cybernetic enhancements. We really need more Batou if they do future sequels.
  • Major gets to do several of her classic moments and scenes including this:

  • Aramaki is a bad ass and you do not want to cross him.
  • Scientists are pricks whatever era/ dimension and timeline they are. No moral filters and no heart.
  • Major’s motorcycle is bad-ass
  • I actually like Kuze’s look for this film
  • That reveal on who and what Kuze is is something that made the movie OK.
  • What a great way to explain the connection between the film’s protagonist and antagonist

 

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review Bad Stuff

  • That Spider-Tank was awful. That was something that needed to die quickly
  • The way they handled Kuze’s story was horrible. Up till the end they missed the chance to make him a solid villain.
  • For a society that’s already heavily influenced by cybernetics, it doesn’t feel like everybody has embraced it. Or maybe they just showed bits and pieces in the movie.
  • Still feels more like “Blade Runner” versus the anime “Ghost in the Shell”
  • That river fight scene was perfect and I hate the fact that they ended it so soon.

 

I seriously could go on and on with this Ghost in the Shell movie review but I’m not. I’m leaving you with a challenge to watch the film despite all the negatives I laid out and hopefully you finish it with a smile or a satisfied look. Or you can just skip the film without having to form your own thoughts.

VERDICT:

B-

Special thanks to United International Pictures and Columbia Pictures for the early screening of the film.

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