In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 46% (Critics) / 59% (Audience)
Directed By: Rupert Sanders
Written By: Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche and Michael Pitt
Studio: Paramount Pictures
GHOST IN THE SHELL looks amazing. Set design, the CGI cityscapes, costuming, hair and make-up (I really loved those Geisha Bots)…it all just looks great. There were even some scenes that were almost total recreations of scenes from the anime this live-action film is based on. I can’t stress enough how much I loved the look of this film.
Its a shame I didn’t love anything else about it. I don’t quite understand why the folks behind this movie worked so hard to get as close to the look of the anime but decided to not really try all that hard to embrace the core of the animated version’s storyline. This movie asked no hard questions, eschewed any attempts at complexity of character and seemingly didn’t really look to do much more than make a lightweight cyberpunk version of THE BOURNE IDENTITY.
Scarlett Johansson was a bad casting choice for this movie and not for the reasons that got so much attention and caused all the controversy before the movie even came out. She was a bad choice because she decided to sleepwalk through the whole movie. I get that she was playing a cyborg with false memories and whatnot but a little inflection in her voice and a little personality in her performance would have been welcome.
Final Verdict: GHOST IN THE SHELL is an amazing looking movie but once you get beneath that shiny, sugary outer coating all you are left with is an unsatisfying, incomprehensible, flat mess of a movie.