Ghost in the Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders and starts Scarlett Johansson as Major, a cyber enhanced human, the first of her kind. Though she is programmed to stop the world's most dangerous criminals, she experiences detailed fragments of her memories which start to lead her to explore her human past - with shattering consequences
Ghost in the Shell is very much the modern day equivalent of Blade Runner. The striking contrast between the sombre tone of the film and the neon drenched streets of dystopian future Japan provides the perfect opportunity for some stunning visuals. Its original production design makes this one of the most beautifully shot films of recent times.
Johansson gives a satisfactory performance, nothing wrong but nothing brilliant, just not the stand out part of the film. Brooding, slightly sulky but definitely full-on Kick-Ass, (think Black Widow, Lucy) a lot of what Johansson does to improve the character is through mannerisms, expressions and glances. The controversy facing the film's 'white washing' of the lead role is irrelevant to how the 'good' it actually is. Whilst it originally stems from Japan, any actress of any ethnicity could have played the role of 'Major' as race isn't integral to the film.
The gripping, mysterious plot line of Major's past definitely played as a more original idea, but does seem to run out of steam half way through. The film feels too formulaic at times and also a little clunky in editing towards the end. Building on incredibly inventive ideas but without any suspense or tension, Ghost in the Shell feels as if it's missing the full depth that it initially intended.
In the end Ghost in the Shell may not measure up to Mamoru Oshii's 1995 original, nor have hard core fans of the manga begging at their knees for a sequel. Taking positives though, it does have beautiful production design, impressive action sequences and a truly magnificent score.
I am going to give Ghost in the Shell:
Pinch of info
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