Title: Ghost in the Shell
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
What It Is: When a mystery woman’s ghost (or brain) is placed in a completely synthetic body she becomes The Major (Johansson) a cybernetically enhanced soldier and the first of her kind, who’s helping Section 9 defend against the modified. When some sort of virus hacks seems to hack some Geisha bots and murders prominent figures of Hanka. With the help of her right-hand man Batou (Asbæk) she’ll uncover the mystery of the network causing all the havoc.
What We Think: Here’s the thing I’ve read all the negativity that followed this film. I also know that I don’t care about any of that. I like this film. It had a vibe of Blade Runner, both visually and existentially. It asks questions and answers them. It does however leave all the bigger questions as mysteries that life, human or cyborg cannot answer. There’s good action spots and I never felt a drag in the film. Johansson is good in her role and plays it very straight, as you would imagine a cyborg would. I don’t understand all the hate for the film, but those that do are entitled to it. For me though I got what I wanted upon separating the anime film away from it.
Our Grade: C+, It’s flawed but it’s no worse than the last anime film that was released Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie which didn’t offer much in the way of personality, but was a bit more honest to the original anime’s legacy. Having said that it’s a cool, slick scifi film that isn’t well directed but circumvents this by simply being a marvel to look at. White washing is certainly a problem in Hollywood but let’s not crucify a film trying to cast someone, or changing a role to fit an actor or actress. You don’t cast the character to the actor you cast the actor you think will do a good job and I think Scarlet killed it here.