Nickpam’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not quite sure where to even begin with reviewing Ghost in the Shell because it is a bit of a hot mess all the way around. The biggest draw with this film was the visually remarkable CGI and impressive visual style in general that director Rupert Sanders used throughout. He managed to craft a massive sci-fi world and inhabit it with some truly unique and stunning characters, but I just wish that same level of craftsmanship was put into writing the script or creating some sort of functional narrative. I've never had the pleasure of seeing any of the animated features nor read the magna that came before this film, but without any of that knowledge of this world I found myself not being invested into pretty much any of the characters or story points at all. It felt like Sanders and company were too busy trying to get to the next action sequence or showing off their next intricate character design rather than develop complex and interesting characters. Which I know was possible when you have an immensely talented actress like Scarlett Johansson and a interesting lead character like Major. I just know more could have been done to boost this film to make it more than just a pretty mess, and it disappoints me that this is all we got.
I still had a decently enjoyable experience with Ghost in the Shell because of all the work put into the special effects, set design, and character design, but I'm greedy so of course I was hoping to get a good film too. It's probably worth checking out if you're a fan of the property it's based on or if you're a big Scar Jo fan, but otherwise you could probably wait to watch this one on TV at some point.
P.S. I saw this in my cinemas 4DX theater and it was absurd...but in a bad way. I don't know if people actually enjoy being knocked around, flashed with strobe lights, and sprayed with water while watching a movie, but I sure as fuck don't. Highly recommend never EVER watching a movie in 4DX if you give a shit about have a good theater experience.