Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler (Screenplay) Masamune Shirow (Comics)
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Peter Ferdinando
Plot: In the near future, Major 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.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Sci-Fi Action 101
Story: Ghost in the Shell starts as Major (Johansson) gets thee final adjustments as her mind gets place into cyber-enhanced body placed into Sector 9 an elite Police squad run by Aramaki (Kitano). When an unknown machine known as Kuza (Pitt) declares war on the Hanka the company making the cyber-enhancements including Major’s.
The deeper Major gets into the case with her partner Batou (Asbaek) the more she questions her past through Dr Ouelet (Binoche) but she is left in the middle of a battle between Aramaki, Hanka Director Cutter (Ferdinando) and Kuze to who is in fact guiding her down the right path.
Thoughts on Ghost in the Shell
Characters/Performance – Major is the human brained cyber-enhanced robot, she is able to make human decisions while being able to move like a robot, take bullets etc. she does end up down the curious line where she starts to question the truth about her past. Batou is the loyal partner of Major who will back her up in any fight. Aramaki is the typical boss of the team, he does what is best for the unit but will put his neck on the line to make sure they are all safe. Dr Ouelet is one of the doctors who put Major together but most of her scenes are information based scenes. Kuze is the robot hacker that is trying to take out the people in Hanka with his enhanced methods. Cutter is the CEO of Hanka that will stop at nothing to keep the information and methods secret.
Performance wise, Scarlett Johansson is built for action, she kicks ass in this leading role and also has the emotional range to back it up, Pilou Asbaek is also good in the supporting role looking the part of the character from the anime with the attitude intact. Michael Pitt does a good job in this role offering the mystery to the story while the rest of the cast all give solid to good performances through the whole film.
Story – The story is interesting to follow as it focuses mainly on Major trying to find her true identity after learning not everything is what she believes it do have been. We do also focus on looking at how business and government try to work together but are also always battling each other. I think this is a good sci-fi story but I can already hear the anime fans not liking this as much.
Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-Fi – The action is all big and spectacle like without being anything overly original, we do enter into the crime world which is important as the focus on the cybercrime that offers the mystery for Major to need to solve in the futuristic sci-fi world.
Settings – The world created looks beautiful for the settings, yes, it is mostly CGI but it looks like the world you could imagine this story take place in.
Special Effects – The special effects all look great even if you can tell most are based around CGI most are hard not to enjoy.
Final Thoughts – I know people are going to compare this to the anime and I think those fans will find a way to dislike this film, but as a stand-alone sci-fi action film this is good, it has plenty of action in a beautifully crafted world that is just what a popcorn movie should be.
Overall: Enjoyable popcorn sci-fi actioner.