The new 2017 version of Ghost in the Shell is a live-action adaption of the 1995 film of the same name, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The new version is directed by Rubert Sanders and stars Scarlett Johansson as The Major, a human who is saved from a crash, and then becomes cyber-advanced to be a super soldier, and goes after a mysterious figure named Kuze.
The visuals of Ghost in the Shell are truly astounding and truly phenomenal to look at. Every time we see the city in this film, it reminded me of the aesthetics and style of 1982’s Blade Runner. I was honestly in awe that the visuals were as great as they are, and surprisingly, the 3D actually made it better.
Scarlett Johansson was a talk of controversy, as many fans of the original film said they wish the film’s main lead actress was a woman of the right ethnicity. However, the people that were worried Johansson would not be a good choice for the role of The Major, rest assured, because she is great in the film. Johansson does an exceptional job at portraying such a beloved character, and it was great to see her truly give it her all to deliver a good performance.
However, something that was present in the 1995 film that made it so great, was not as present in this film, and that is the philosophical aspect. Even though you can really feel throughout the film, Major’s feelings of being robotic, and human, it is not quite strong and emotional as it was back in ’95.
The action sequences are also fun, and very well choreographed, even though the film does not rely on it, which is not a bad thing. The film focuses on the story of the Major, and her trying to find Kuze.
Also, there were a couple of times where I did not quite feel the same excitement captured in the original Ghost in the Shell film, in this version. There was something unique and never seen before from the original film, which may have been the great animation, which may not have translated flawlessly to the big screen.
In-Summary: Great visuals mixed with an exceptionally fun action are the best things about Ghost in the Shell, however, it quite simply does not have some of the original film’s unique feeling.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 106 minutes