Hoping to add a respectable upgrade to the animated manga canon, Ghost in the Shell is a wash of wonder and color for the eyes, but a middling interpretation of the wildly imaginative animation staple. And while Johannson does her level best to push the best assets of her beguiling body of work forward, still the live-action version of Ghost is busted when contrasted against the storytelling prowess of previous spirits.
Granted, Ghost is a veritable feast for the eyes, reminiscent of sci-fi juggernauts like Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, and The Matrix franchise. But Ghost falls short as it shies away from the more imaginative and engaging elements of its well-known storyline for a more tepid and tame tale, leaving large opportunities for greatness unclaimed and unimagined. Much like the struggle that Johannson undoubtedly faces in Hollywood, Ghost strives to bankroll buxom beauty while bypassing brains.
As much as the film fails to inform, the special features menu strives to fill in the multitude of blanks, consisting of an expansive “Hard-Wired Humanity” making-of featurette which reveals a host of beneficial background information; an eye-opening “Section 9” featurette that details Section 9 as well as further plot points, characters, and storylines; and a “Man & Machine” featurette that details the merging of human and technology, and what that marriage may hold for the future of mankind. This amazing menu lineup is another instance where I would recommend watching the special features before viewing the film—spoilers aside.
While Ghost in the Shell delivers a one-two punch of beauty and bad-ass, its timid presentation sees it seated at the back of the class.
Studio Synopsis: Set in a world where people are enhanced with technology, Ghost in the Shell follows Major (Scarlett Johansson), who believes she was rescued from near death. The first of her kind, Major, is a human mind inside an artificial body designed to fight the war against cybercrime. While investigating a dangerous criminal, Major makes a shocking discovery—the corporation that created her lied about her past life in order to control her. Unsure what to believe, Major will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery of her true identity and exact revenge against the corporation she was built to serve.
Running Time: 107 minutes
Number of Disks: 2
– Hard-Wired Humanity: Making Ghost in the Shell
– Section 9: Cyber Defenders
– Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy
Cast: Scarlett Johansson | Pilou Asbæk | Takeshi Kitano | Juliette Binoche | Michael Pitt
Director: Rupert Sanders
Central Writers: Shirow Masamune (based on the comic “The Ghost in the Shell” by) | Jamie Moss (screenplay)
Box Office Release: March 31, 2017
DVD Release: July 25, 2017
Genre: Action | Crime| Drama
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE
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