My goal this year was that if I could go see all 10 movies in my 2017 anticipated list, I’d be pretty happy. Now, of course, this year is a mammoth of a year with a ton of great looking movies, however, I do have to say this movie remake is one that I’ve never been more on the fence about but we do love the anime quite a bit and the trailer looks pretty decent so we decided to head out. Hopefully, it will be decent. Ghost in the Shell was great and honestly, last year was the first time I finally saw it.
Let’s check it out!
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han
In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. –IMDB
If you would like to hear a quick discussion review over at That Moment In, you can find it below:
Now for my own full review below:
When Ghost in the Shell opens, its hard to not be drawn in by its appealing visuals. One of the biggest strengths also lie in this wonderment of the neo-Hong Kong that has been created visually. Some of the most appealing scenes are replicated almost as beautiful in their own way as the animated feature showed. It is colorful and a little dark and extremely technologically advanced. There is no doubt that the visuals steal the entire show. There is also a very pretty score that accompanies it to elevate the emotions and the story and even the suspense. Those two factors are absolutely my favorite part of Ghost in the Shell. Going back to creating the futuristic Hong Kong, I think the best compliment from myself who has been to Hong Kong many times, is that there were many moments and locations and settings that reminded me of the city be it residential or architecture.
However, Ghost in the Shell does fall short a little in various places. For myself, I felt that the way that Scarlett Johansson portrayed Major, who is the first of her kind “ghost” who is composed of a mechanical body but powered by a human brain, emphasizes heavily on overacting as simple as her walking motions seem more robotic. There’s something that seems so abrupt and blunt in her character. Perhaps the best word is that the story is now deducted to a more simple basis and is more straight forward with less between the lines moments that will make you think too much. Most answers will be revealed by the finale and that is something that is very different. It might not be just the character of Major that lacks depth or character development in some ways. There are still moments and bonds in the story that are apparent and that work well. Characters such as Batou played by Pilou Asbaek, Aramaki played by Takeshi Kitano and Dr. Ouelet played by Juliette Binoche definitely were memorable characters which decent arcs.
As someone who isn’t very familiar with the original manga or the animated feature released in the 90s, I looked at this one from a more standalone point of view. Obviously, there were scenes that were so memorable from the animated movie that I remembered and was done well here. I’ll go more in depth for a comparison soon in the new segment I’m working on after I take a look at the manga but as a standalone, there is something about making a story that is more linear and straight forward like this one which makes it easier to digest for a new audience and for those like myself who aren’t incredibly in love with the source material or the original movie. The visuals and score are beautiful and suitable for what they are trying to tell. Everything on the surface works really well even if it wasn’t quite the in depth experience that perhaps the source material had wanted to put together. The story could have more between the lines aspects however as an action popcorn flick, the action sequences are done well and flow smooth.
Overall, Ghost in the Shell is a relatively good action popcorn flick. It brings in beautiful visuals and a moving score accompanied with a linear story and a decent cast who pulls off a good homage to the animated movie. There are some odd story choices here that justify why we have the whole “whitewash” aspect especially casting Scarlett Johansson and the answer might be acceptable to some (like my husband) or odd to others (like myself). However, the action scenes are done well and the story, while could use some depth, was pretty good although a little slow in the beginning. Between me and you, I fell asleep for 15 minutes somewhere in the first half, so blame it on a late showing or that it was slow because I haven’t figured out which it is yet but it did happen. As a standalone, it works well enough and a good movie experience.
Have you seen Ghost in the Shell? What did you think of it?
Are you a fan of the manga and/or animated movie?
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