Brian Moreira’s review published on Letterboxd:
The most challenging thing about filmmaking, is that Cinema is a collaborative art form. Unllike other Arts such as dance, poetry, painting or sculpture - all of which you can do by yourself, Cinema requires many talents together to create something. And the reason is so hard to make a great film is because there are so many pieces - such as the writing, directing, the performances, the score, the production design and so on - that must function. And so, a movie is only truly great when all these pieces work together.
With Ghost in the Shell, though, not all the pieces works. Actually, to me there's only one thing that is not great in this live-action adaptation, unfortunately is quite an important one: The script. While the original Ghost in the Shell is incredibly dense and thought provoking, this reimagining doesn't reach the same intelectual level, as it remains only on the surface. The philosophical conversations between characters, the subtleties from Major, here are conveyed as very expositive dialogue. Everything is said by the characters about their feelings and thoughts, but little is shown as crafted as the original.
But just like I said, great Cinema is hard to do because it requires many talents involved all together. And just because a script is not great, doesn't mean the whole movie is bad. Ghost in the Shell is an example of that, because everything else is very well made: The directing is competent, the score is great, and the PRODUCTION DESIGN is INCREDIBLE. The city that was created surrounding the story and the visuals conceived for this movie are very much worth the watch. I also LOVED how many visual references there are linked to the original. Some sequences were maid exactly like the animation, shot by shot, and I appreciate it.
Also, the script is competent enough to present a different story whilst still mixing elements and plot points from the original. For example, I thought it was brilliant how the name of the character was handled in this movie, which also gives a solid reason for Major's phisical appearance and answers the debate on whether she's an asian character or not in this live action (and Scarlett Johansson is great in it).
So as plot goes, I think the script is okay. It's just the dialogue that really weakens the movie. Overall, I enjoyed this new take. Of course it doesn't live up to the original animated masterpiece, but that's okay. Ghost in the Shell might not be great, but it's still good.