Ghost in the Shell (2017)
In a future not far from now (even though it sure looks pretty far off), humans have begun to cyber-enhance themselves to the point of uploading and downloading thoughts and feelings directly into the brain. Major Kusanagi (Scarlett Johansson) is the first person to even have her brain taken out of dead body and live on in a robotic shell. She was “killed” by cyber terrorists and now works to fight against the very acts that changed her life, but everything isn’t as it seems and Major slowly discovers the truth of who she really is.
The concept, setting, atmosphere, and special effects in this movie are awesome and spot-on to create a futuristic world that reminds me of a mash-up of Blade Runner and the Deus Ex Human Revolution video game. From the visual aspect, The Ghost in the Shell is stunning and something that will suck you in. Unfortunately, the story isn’t enough to keep the journey going. The story is simple yet overly complex and for many, it will have you saying “huh?” quite a bit. When I say simple yet complex, I mean that the arching story of the movie is pretty simple and unoriginal, but the way in which it is presented on a detailed level can go right over your head. It might be because of the sci-fi/cybernetic lingo was too much for me (and I played video games based on this kind of thing) or because it isn’t spelled out very easy. This movie definitely will need a second viewing to understand everything, however, I’m not sure it deserves that. For as simple as the main story is, it sure moves at a slow pace. Some of the scenes and concepts are redundant and much of this movie could be shaved down to save time. One might argue that after the movie is shaved down, they should then insert better action and interesting story elements than what is already there.
For what it is worth, The Ghost in the Shell is an average movie and isn’t horrible. The beauty of the world you are in might cover up the flaws in the story, but for some that might not matter. I lost interest about half way through because I liked what was going on with the story, but the second half went in a completely different direction and it no longer was appealing to me. Maybe it is because I know nothing about The Ghost in the Shell Manga, but I could take or leave this film.
At the end of the day, Ghost in the Shell is for people who like to look at pretty things while action and story suffer for it. Ok, yes the action is decent, but as I said before, so many other cyber punk universes do this better. As I mentioned, this movie really does feel like Deus Ex Human Revolution: The Movie just inserting Major for Adam Jenson. I can’t tell you if you are going to like this movie or not because I still can’t figure out if I would watch this again, but for what it is worth, the premise and the idea behind this was enough for me to give it a try. Maybe you should too. Co-starring Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han, and Danusia Samal.
6/10 Stars – I can’t call this movie bad from its great visuals, but the story is muddled and complicated for no reason and the action is merely ok.