Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Written by: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, Ehren Kruger
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr 47 min.
On this trip to the movies I was joined by my friend, Craig. Both of us had seen and somewhat appreciated the original Ghost anime film, and headed into the theater with low expectations for this live action remake.
Gone is any discussion about the nature of existence in an increasingly technical age. Ghost in the Shell, Hollywood (world market) PG-13 edition, rejects the core premise of the original movie and moves forward with a “battle for identity” storyline. This is basically the plot of Robocop blended with the more iconic moments from the original anime movie and TV series. This film exploits and repackages for the masses, and by doing so, becomes nothing more than a forgettable spectacle. If you remember anything at all after seeing this, it will likely be how much it reminded you of better movies like, Robocop, The Matrix and Blade Runner.
As slickly produced sci-fi entertainment, Ghost in the Shell is, however, passable. It looks good, Scarlett Johansson is solid in the lead, and it doesn’t have the pacing issues the original movie had. The visual effects are decent, and the production design team faithfully recreate and enhance the look and tone of the original anime content. This isn’t an awful film, but your enjoyment of it will depend on whether you are a fan of the original material, or care about science fiction, at all.
So, if you have no clue why this film even exists, and thought the trailers and clips looked cool, then by all means buy your ticket and overpriced snacks, and enjoy. I just hope you don’t end up next to a fan of the original anime, because they are not going to be happy, or quiet!
Fans of the original, stay clear of this. For everyone else, if you’re looking for a slick spectacle and an escape, then you could do a lot worse.
The Major’s attack on the Geisha staffed restaurant.