Ghost in the Shell is the long-awaited live action adaptation of the 1995 anime cult classic of the same name. I’ve got to say I went in with relatively high expectations and came out mildly disappointed, but there is still a lot to love in this film so let’s get started.
the first point I’d like to praise about this movie is its distinct visual style that is reminiscent of the 1982 classic Blade Runner. it actually shares a lot of Blade Runners flaws but more on that later. Often to bridge the gap between scenes it would cut to an over head shot of the city showing massive structures covered in holograms. (and rampant product placement). the use of futuristic imagery helps set the scene for the reality in which this movie takes place and serves as one of the main reasons I’d recommend seeing Ghost in the Shell.
Next up the story. the story ended up being one of the biggest issues i had with Ghost in the Shell. While the story contained a lot of thought-provoking elements about humanity and free will, it lacked any sort of depth that one would expect those themes to entail. No, what we get is a stereotypical origin story about a cyborg cop tracking a terrorist, with surprise everything not being as it seems. the characters were likable enough but lacked depth. The one thing that i felt kept the story going was Scarlett Johansson’s performance as the main character The Major and the unique setting in which the story unfolds in.
My single biggest issue (the same issue I had with Blade Runner) is that the story felt sleepy and unfocused. Combine the visuals, the music, and the story that was kind of all over the place and you get a movie that is sleepy and unfocused yet a lot of fun to watch.
My score: B- or 7.8.
while plagued by many of the issues of Blade Runner Ghost in the Shell was a promising start to a franchise I hope to see more of in the future.