Clearly, I am not one you can count amongst them. That's good for any of you boycotting the new movie due to its whitewashing controversy. "That's a critical failure, and one that can not be rectified by cool-looking geisha robots". This big-budget adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime classic (Masamune Shirow's comic premiered in the late 1980s, Mamoru Oshii's highly influential first film version in 1995) has managed to replicate the surface trappings of the captivating, almost post-human world of the source material.
Set in Tokyo at an unnamed point in the future where most people have cybernetic implants, Major Mira Killian (Johansson) works with the governmental division Section 9, a tactical response unit tasked with hunting down terrorists. Essentially, everything that happens in the film could be viewed as an origin story, akin to James Bond's first out as 007 in Casino Royale, meaning, this could just be the beginning. The movie is packed with neat visuals, but so is a DeviantArt page.
It's still wet, dirty and filled with hustlers, but holograms of products, spokespeople and more rise into the air, along with signs, traffic signals and more.
What most people will agree on will be Sander's eye for the dazzling. Takeshi Kitano, playing a security chief who dares stand up to Hanka, casually owns every scene he's in.
For fans of anime and #GhostInTheShell in particular, there aren't many pieces of music as evocative or iconic as the theme song from the ending of the original anime. The rest of the characters are lifeless, and for all the exposition in the film's opening, the plot races along so quickly that it hardly makes sense. Most films that win best picture, actor, etc., are a drag for me. Here those ideas are presented with painfully on-the-nose, poorly written dialogue.
Other noteworthy performances include Pilou Asbæk as Johansson/Major's friend Batou. For me they were two different types of movies that I couldn't really compare the two, unless you wanted to talk about the visual effects and action sequences. With her face nearly expressionless, she delivers her lines in a monotone. There are moments where that works, especially in the physicality of Johansson's walk and posture, but she never quite captures a believable balance.More news: Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline
And borrowing isn't always bad: This film's strongest elements often come directly from prior iterations of Ghost in the Shell - from the robo-geishas to the spider-tanks to the invisible fights.
Tell us what you think!
This reviewer hopes Major and Johansson will be back in a second adventure. Scarlet Johansson stars as "The Major" Mira Killian, a human-cyborg hybrid crimefighter who, along with her team known as Section 9, is tasked with hunting down an elusive and unsafe hacker known as the Puppet Master.
In full disclosure, I have not seen nor read any of the aforementioned material, nor am I a fan of Japanese manga and anime. Her body becomes an interchangeable host, and it doesn't hold any meaning beyond allowing her to function in the world. It's an interesting film to watch. "Her age and background are unknown, just as much as her nationality". When Major learns she wasn't the first cyborg created by Hanka and one of her predecessors, Kuze, is now targeting Hanka scientists, she questions her existence and looks to discover the truth about her human past. It didn't need to give Major a backstory and it didn't need to say anything intellectual.
The production design of Ghost in the Shell is weird too.