Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell ★★★★

The reviews for this sort of baffle me. What do you want people? I don’t think the negative reviews can be entirely chalked up to the fans of the source material being pedantic, grumpy dorks. I liked the original animated movie and I thought this was a deftly executed adaptation. Adaptations of this kind are incredibly dicey to pull off, just think of all the terribly botched attempts from the past. This is the one you’re going to hate on? Come on.

The live-action Ghost in the Shell constructs a wonderfully vibrant futuristic world heavily inspired by Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner as was the original. Towering skyscrapers, congested apartment blocks and enormous holographic advertisements are actualized in a sweeping metropolis overrun by mankind’s excessive implementation of its own technological advancements. All of the surrounding nature as well as the human beings themselves have either been callously swept away or integrated with this new synthetic environment. Everything is artificial and man-made, no paper products of any kind seems to exist any longer, the trees seemingly long extinct, replaced with digital or synthetic alternatives. Every scene is drenched in cyber-machinery and draped in translucent plastics. It all adds up to a veritable feast for the eyes and I never grew tired at staring at this world they created.

If I have any gripes about the film, they are minor ones. The use of holographs is a bit much and they are employed in a majority of the scenes in one way or another, they are literally everywhere all of the time. When throwing this much money into a film, it would have been nice if they had taken the time to cast a more interesting actor in the villain character Cutter, who was admittedly, pretty bland. I’m unshaken by the Caucasian casting choices, if Japan wants to do their own version, I’d happily check that out too but they didn’t so this is how marketing works folks, like it or not. That is basically all that bothered me though. Ghost in the Shell features some visually striking and memorable action set pieces, yet another appropriate and vacantly emotionless performance from Scarlett and an additionally welcome appearance From Michael Pitt as the mysterious and tortured hacker. Not to mention Juliette Binoche. I found this to have every bit the amount of charm of the original and was delightfully entertained from the somber, patiently paced sci-fi narrative. It’s a solid action romp but more importantly, an exceptional adaptation which was something that would have been so easy to completely fuck up. I really don’t get the negativity, There is nothing bad here.

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