Craig's Movie Reviews

I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.

Ghost in the Shell

Late as always, here’s my take on the remake on an anime classic.

Ghost in the Shell, based on the Japanese franchise of Mangas and Animes, is a science-fiction film set in a futuristic city, possibly Hong Kong, in which robots and humans are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart.

robot geisha

This is a really cool thing in the movie. Seriously, props to the production team for this!

Scarlett Johansson plays Major, a robot cop with a human brain. She and the rest of the police are after a cyber-terrorist. However, it doesn’t  take her long to realise that the bad guys might not be where she thought they were.

So basically… Blade Runner. I really hate saying this as there is such a huge fan-base of this series, but Ghost in its original form and as this reimagining are pretty much Blade Runner, but not as good.

I only saw the original movie version of G.I.T.S quite recently and did not think much of it. It was a little too slow, a little too cold and did little to wow me. I admired it, but did not love it.

This version does some good stuff with the material.

For one, the world and action here are both handled expertly . For a sci-fi actioner, those are the essentials. The visual grammar of The Shell is top notch and always more interesting than the standard film of its kind.

While some of the dialogue is a little clichéd, including some bizarre copying from Batman Begins, there is an emotional core to this film that I felt was lacking in Version 1. I actually teared up a little at one very well-realised moment which I shall not spoil.

Now let’s discuss the beautiful white elephant in the room.

First, the facts.

Scarlett Johansson is white. She is playing a white robot with a brain from a Japanese woman.

Now, the two sides of the big debate here.

For this move:

  • The Japanese creators blessed it and there’s been no outcry for blood from Japan or a considerable portion of Ghost in the Shell
  • Major, in the source material, is white.
  • Johansson will pull in more money for the picture, at least in theory and does the whole sexy robot/alien discovering humanity act well.
  • One could call this whole thing a commentary on whitewashing.

Against:

  • The fact that her brain is Japanese is not very clear in the film.
  • This is a waste of an opportunity to cast an Asian-American actress in a major role (pun not intended).
  • If this is a commentary on whitewashing it’s a pretty vague one.

Those are the main arguments. I thought I might as well list them here without an opinion so you could make up your own minds. A little interactivity for you, so I can avoid being punched by the internet.

Either way, this movie is fine. Pretty good. Not really good or bad enough to go on the twitter warpath.

However, they do remove that lesbian kiss that was in the trailer. What’s that about?

Recommended Scenario: If you like OK sci-fi fun.

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2017 by in Film Review, Released in 2017.
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