Ghost in the Shell Movie Review
Visually stunning, Scarlet Johansson
Weak story line, and strays too far from the series
Let me start off by staying that Ghost in the Sheet is a visual treat, a fest for the eyes, visually orgasmic, or whatever metaphor you’d like to throw in, but that’s where it all ends. It got Scarlett Johansson, who is a military-designed robot with a human brain where she’s fighting killer-robot geishas, dealing with Godzilla-size hologram ads and doing all that in nearly nude fighting gear, that can turn invisible at will! – At this point, it’s time to switch off the brain.
Honestly, I came to watch Scarlet Johansson nearly naked in that, but I stayed for the ass-kicking, and mind-blowing visuals. Although, I must admit, the need to have her in that skin colored get up, baffled me. Anyway, the plot revolves around a villain named Kuze (Michael Pitt) who’s offing executives at the robotics company by hacking into the consciousness of various accomplices to make them commit murders. All of this goes awry when the glitches in Major’s (Scarlet Johansson) brain that suggest her past isn’t what it seemed to be. Naturally she’s inclined to confront Kuze with the truth and then everything that we’ve see in robot AI movies gets mashed up with some real emo tripping on low batteries. Of course, there’s also her doctor (Juliette Binoche) who plays a nearly irrelevant role in this cyberpunk, near nude, action flick.
While Rupert Sanders, who directed the film, has several nods to the 1995 anime film, it doesn’t do it enough justice. Although as a fan of the original series, I must say, it was pretty cool to watch those – although many of them seemed to be lifted from the comics rather than the show.
I think the biggest flaw in the movie is not the movie itself, but the timing of the release. We’ve been fed enough of movies and TV shows of man vs machine vs AI etc. – think about the Matrix, Westworld, AI itself…it’s basically nothing new in terms of story line or a story arc that holds much interest. Again – the only saving grace for Ghost in the Shell, is the visuals.
Yeah, there’ also been controversy around why a white female is playing the role of a Japanese robot, which should clearly have gone to an Asian character. Well, honestly, I don’t care. In hindsight, I don’t think it would have saved this move anyway. It’s worth a watch if you’re probably going to rent it, or stream it – but I can hardly call this a good movie to pay good money and watch it in the theater.