Ghost in the Shell

Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche
Writer: Jaime Moss, William Wheeler, Ehren Kruger
Based on: Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow

Just to let you know, this will not be a review bashing the movie at all. So if you’re looking for that kind of content, you will not get it here. Sorry.

Ghost in the Shell has always been a big part of my existence. I’ve loved the original manga and movie since I was little and I looked up to Motoko Kusanagi as this badass woman figure throughout my life. It was the one anime movie that I actually burned out in the DVD player because I played it way too much. Ghost in the Shell is so important to me that it’s going to become one of my future tattoos.

Ghost in the Shell
(2017) adapts the popular manga and anime into a visually stunning action movie that you can’t turn away from, even hen it falters at times. Ghost in the Shell focus on Major (Scarlett Johansson), a woman who has been told that her body was in a horrific accident with her parents. She is given a shell, or a mechanical body by Hanka Robotics that will host her ghost and make her capable to do extraordinary things. Major is named because she climbs to the rank of such in the in S9. She’s also an experiment that has finally worked after years of other Shells and Ghosts not being able to come together. After some sh*t goes down and a hactavist is  messing up royally Major is on a journey, not only to do what she is programmed to do, but she is also on a journey to find out what truly happened to her.

Ghost in the Shell really takes from its roots and blossoms into something all it’s own, but keeps close to the original and its material. It’s almost a dream to see some of this stuff come true for me and beyond the controversy, it’s a film that holds up in a passable sense. One thing that’s really important to talk about is the visuals of the entire thing. The original movie for Ghost in the Shell is a visually stunning cyberpunk adventure that leaves you absolutely breathless. This movie does that same thing, but ups the anti and modernizes that cyberpunk technology. It’s so cool. The SPX and the direction alone is enough to have you coming back for more. Every shot, every angle, every fight is so visually stunning that you find yourself wanting to devour every single detail.

Scarlett Johansson as Major (or Motoko, because that’s her real name), I gotta admit, I dug it. It may be biased for me to say cause you give me anything Scarlett Johansson and I am 120% on board, but I liked her portrayal as Major a lot more than I really expected to. This role was similar to her character Lucy (2014) and it isn’t a stretch for her whatsoever, but that’s okay for a lot of reasons. Major is stiff, she’s a robot and she doesn’t convey many emotions and that’s what Scarlett does perfectly in this role. Her voice, facial expressions and body language really give Major the character development that is needed to push the character forward in the film. It was believable to me that she would be Major (Motoko). Batou played
by Pilou Asbæk was absolutely perfect. I have a very tender spot for the relationship between Motoko & Batou, the way this was brought into the film was so great. They have a trust and tenderness for each other that I was scared would mess up in a film sense, but they were perfect together. The rest of the cast did an incredible job and looked a lot like their original counterparts. Michael Pitt as Hideo Kuze was really great. His actions resembled a hacktivist known as The Puppet Master so him portraying that role was interesting and very cool to see. My only criticism was that I wish there was more of him from jump. Takeshi Kitano as Chief Daisuke Aramaki wins EVERYTHING for me cast wise through. There is honestly nothing that Takeshi Kitano can’t do and he was such a silent badass in this film that I did a complete and utter YEAH BOY! In my seat. (Yes, I got stared at. No, I didn’t care.)

The story falters in some of it’s bigger moments, but it keeps the realm of its world as a whole. It never leaves the ultimate journey of Major’s search for the truth of who she is. It reverts back to it cleverly because this is the thing they could have REALLY f*cked up, but it keeps the story clean, moving and intact throughout most of the movie. It was a good story, especially when you consider the hacktivist that is Hideo was just like her so it’s two journeys traveling as a whole, but it could have been something slightly better.

As I continue to be a problematic human being, I must say, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a great shot for shot of what the original movie is and it honors that in the best way possible. The stunning visuals, epic soundtrack and awesome characterization is a lot to take into account when watching this movie and it does an impressive job of bringing you that cyberpunk flair of the original. It’s a detailed and faulty piece of work, but there’s so much good to say within the film than all of the bad that you’ve been given. I hope you guys give it a chance.

Insha Fitzpatrick
co-editor in chief of dis/member & rogues portal. hufflepuff. frmly of talks on film runners. craves horror films. loves true crime. tries her best.

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