Ghost in the Shell: The Cold and Distant Future of Cybernetics

GHOST IN THE SHELL

DIRECTED BY: Rupert Sanders

STARRING: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche

GENRE: Science Fiction, Action

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: United States

In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) 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. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, “The Ghost in the Shell.”

We here at MiR are almost always hesitant about live-action anime adaptations for obvious reasons…Dragonball. However, Ghost in the Shell is definitely a pleasant surprise, as the film is…dare we say it…decent. Johansson and Asbaek absolutely kill it as Major and Batou as it is evident that they have plenty of chemistry. The direction actually surprised us, as we didn’t expect much from second time director Rupert Sanders. We shouldn’t have doubted him too much, as his first film was Snow White and the Huntsman. Lastly, the world that Ghost in the Shell created was magnificent yet terrifying, especially as our own technology grows.

Major…are you reading me?

Unfortunately, just like most adaptations in general, the film is not faithful to either the original “The Ghost in the Shell” manga or the series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. While many accuse the creators of the 2017 adaptation of “Hollywooding” or “white-washing” the series, there were plenty of other changes that we can’t go into without diving too much into spoiler territory. Our biggest gripe however is that this 2017 film is a bit more heavy-handed in its political/society message, which is saying quite a bit since Stand Alone Complex drilled political messages and overtones straight into your skull. While we wouldn’t say that as an anime adaptation it is/will be the best, but it is definitely the best so far.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Solid direction.
  • World building.
  • Pacing.
  • Character design.

CONS:

  • Unfaithful adaptation.
  • Too heavy-handed in its messages.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

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