Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell ★★★

In this life my name is Kuze

Second go around I like Sanders' Ghost in the Shell far better than I did when I saw it in theaters in Spring. I still have a problem with the poorly defined geography of the fight scenes and the pace of the film which, in stark contrast to Villeneuve's Blade Runner: 2049, never gives us the requisite time to soak in all of the portentous imagery nor the remarkably well-explored themes of consent, memory, identity, and reincarnation.

And, in many ways, I think essentially all that I find doesn't work in Ghost in the Shell, namely the pace and exploration of themes, works spectacularly in 2049. What is perhaps most interesting though about Sanders' film is how he uses the emotional anchoring of a family estranged to illustrate the ways in which the state controls (specifically female) bodies.

Ghost in the Shell is nowhere near the masterwork of modern sci-fi that Blade Runner: 2049 is, but I also don't think it's anywhere near as poorly drawn as I did first go around. If you weren't on board with Sanders' exploration of memory, identity, consent, and familial ties first time around, give it a second shot. It may surprise you.

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